Everton's Barkley vs Liverpool's Coutinho analysis: One outperforms the other in six key areas

The Everton and Liverpool playmakers go head-to-head this weekend.

Everton face Merseyside rivals Liverpool this weekend in a fascinating battle which will see playmakers Ross Barkley and Philippe Coutinho go head-to-head.

The latter has been widely heralded as one of the Premier League’s best buys in recent years - the Reds profiting from Inter Milan’s bizarre decision to grant him a move away from Italy in January 2013.

Coutinho has excelled in Liverpool colours, and following the sale of Luis Suarez, many now regard him as the top man on Merseyside and the player most likely to push the club towards a top-four spot.

However, following the early-season form of Ross Barkley, some would argue the England man has been more influential than his upcoming rival, and the statistics below would back that opinion up.

  Goals per GameAssists per GameShots per GameKey Passes per GameTake-ons per GameTouches per GameAccurate Passes per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearances
Ross Barkley 0.29 0.43 2.86 2.14 2.29 67.14 38.57 5.14 7
Philippe Coutinho 0.17 0.33 5.83 1 1.83 66.83 36.33 5.17 6

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Barkley’s exquisite performances this season see him better Brazil international Coutinho in as many as six key areas.

The Toffees’ attacking midfielder has averaged more goals, assists, key passes, touches, accurate passes and successful take-ons per Premier League match in the early stages of the campaign.

Barkley’s influence on Everton’s team is growing by the week and considering his current ability both on and off the ball, it’s quite frightening to think he is still only 21 years of age.

Coutinho, 23, averages more ball recoveries and shots per match, but the early-season honours ahead of the Goodison Park encounter most definitely belong to his Merseyside rival.

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