Described by Juan Mata as a genius, Ander Herrera will have little to prove as he prepares to take centre stage for Manchester United in Saturday afternoon's trip to Stamford Bridge. The former Athletic Bilbao midfielder's return to the Red Devils first-team has run parallel to the club's excellent recent form.
Similarly, Cesc Fabregas has propelled himself to 'fan favourite' status at Chelsea following a season full of excellent creative displays. There is no doubt that his second semester performances have been less emphatic than those earlier on in the campaign. However, as his winning goal versus QPR suggests, he is still integral to the London outfit's fortunes.
It is the battle between the fellow Spaniards that could decide this weekend's fixture and ultimately swing the result in the favour of their respective sides. Forming a mini-battle, to which the outcome appears almost impossible to predict, we at HITC Sport have analysed the stats.
|Goals Scored||Total Key Passes||Total Passes per Game||Passing Accuracy (%)||Shot Accuracy (%)||Tackles Won per Game||Duels Won (%)||Interceptions Won per Game||Appearances|
In breaking down the numbers, it is Herrera who emerges superior in front of goal. The Manchester United man has scored on more occasions than his compatriot this season (five to three), despite hitting the target significantly (24% to 35%) less often.
Herrera has contributed well defensively too, winning more interceptions per game than Fabregas (1.8 to 0.74) and finding success in a higher percentage of duels than the Chelsea midfielder (60% to 50%).
As the Premier League's leading playmaker, with 16 assists this term, Fabregas is unsurprisingly the far more creative of the duo. The 27-year-old has fashioned 2.93 key passes per appearance, compared to the 0.95 managed by Herrera (four assists).
In terms of passing ability, he also steals the plaudits. He has managed considerably more passes on average (84 to 53), although his overall completion rate is inferior (86% to 89%).
Both Spaniards have made a tremendous impact since their arrival in the Premier League, but Herrera has shown the form of late that could see him spark a huge upset at Stamford Bridge this weekend.