Stats: James McCarthy equal to World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger

James McCarthy Everton

The Everton central midfielder has rivaled the Manchester United man statistically so far this season.

Ahead of Everton's Premier League clash against Manchester United this weekend, it would be safe to assume the midfield battle will be key.

Roberto Martinez likes to pack the middle of the park and United can be a Jekyll or Hyde depending on how well their midfielders operate.

Two players will likely be key if they start - Everton's James McCarthy (who should play) and United's Bastian Schweinsteiger (who is less likely due to fitness and rotation).

What's interesting, though, is how both compare, considering the latter is a World Cup winner signed for £15 million this summer, fee as reported by the Daily Star.

 2015/16 (Per Game) Chances CreatedAccurate PassesTacklesInterceptionsFinal-Third PassesMinutes Played
James McCarthy 0.38 43.25 2.5 1.38 14 720
Bastian Schweinsteiger 0.38 46.5 1.25 1.63 15.63 441

As Opta stats show, Manchester United's world champion and Everton's McCarthy are neck and neck in terms of overall play.

Both average as many chances created per game as each other, while the German lands slightly more passes per match. In the tackling department, though, McCarthy wins hands down. But that's countered by the fact Manchester United's playmaker averages more interceptions and final-third passes per game.

Everton's midfielder clearly has more legs in him, being able to play regularly while Louis van Gaal is forced to rotate the older, slower Schweinsteiger - who also had a shocker during the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Overall, however, the two are very equal. Some might suggest McCarthy could do a job for United...

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