Coloccini vs Morgan: How do Newcastle and Leicester's key defenders compare?

Leicester City

Leicester City and Newcastle United face each other in a huge Premier League match at the weekend.

Even John Carver was not about to play down the importance of Newcastle United's upcoming game against Leicester City.

"It's the biggest game of the weekend," he declared in the Shields Gazette, and it is hard to argue with his judgement.

Newcastle and Leicester are both fighting for their Premier League lives and a defeat in this fixture could have serious repercussions for either side.

Newcastle are currently five points clear of the drop-zone, but if Leicester win they will drag them right into the heart of the relegation battle and, with their confidence already fragile, it would set up a nervy end to the season for the North East side.

Leicester, meanwhile, are in an even more precarious position in the table. Nigel Pearson's side are only narrowly above the trapdoor, but three points would elevate them closer to safety - and having won four out of their last five - they would have momentum on their side. 

The reward for claiming three points for either team is, therefore, obvious and it is games like these which are decided by big-game players.

Leicester and Newcastle will be relying on their key stars to hit the top of their games, and the battle of the two captains could be decisive.

Leicester's Wes Morgan and Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini are the leaders for their sides and their performances will be crucial on Saturday.

They are both clearly committed defenders, but so far this season Morgan has been more effective than Coloccini.

  TeamTackles per gameHeaders per gameDuels won per gameInterceptions per gameClearances per gameAppearancesMins Played
Fabricio Coloccini Newcastle 1.46 1.5 3.78 2.14 5.21 28 2477
Wes Morgan Leicester 1.12 3.9 6.24 2.42 7.15 33 2928

The Foxes centre-back has completed more headers, won more duels and made more clearances than Coloccini has managed, on average, and if he continues to be this commanding on Saturday then it will put Leicester in a good position.

It leaves Coloccini needing to raise his game and if he doesn't, then Newcastle's run of seven straight defeats only looks set to be extended. 

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