Liverpool's Lucas vs Chelsea's Matic pre-match H2H: One outshines other in six key areas

Lucas Leiva

Liverpool travel to the capital to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Liverpool follow up their first win under new boss Jurgen Klopp with a trip to Chelsea in a game which will see defensive midfielders Lucas Leiva and Nemanja Matic go head-to-head.

Since his return to Chelsea for a second spell, Matic has been the standout defensive midfielder in the Premier League, and was instrumental in helping the club win the title in 2014/15.

However, the current campaign hasn’t quite gone to plan for Jose Mourinho’s side, and Matic has been one of a number of players to have struggled to replicate last season’s form.

On Saturday, the Serbia international will have to raise his game considerably in the face of an energetic Liverpool side under Klopp and get the better of an outstanding opponent in Lucas Leiva.

  Tackles per GameInterceptions per GameEffective Clearances per GameDef Duels Won per GameAerial Duels Won per GameBall Recoveries per GameAccurate Passes per GameAppearances
Lucas Leiva 4.25 2.25 0.88 9.13 1.75 8.13 53.38 8
Nemanja Matic 2.8 2.2 1.4 6.8 1.7 7.2 41.8 10

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Lucas's brilliance this season can be illustrated by how he has outperformed Matic in as many as six key midfield categories.

The Brazil international has averaged more tackles, interceptions, defensive duels won, aerial duels won, ball recoveries and accurate passes per Premier League fixture.

Having not played all too regularly under former boss Brendan Rodgers, Lucas has been a mainstay under Klopp and put in a man of the match performance against Southampton last weekend.

The former Gremio man has always had the ability to be a key performer for the Reds, yet his fitness problems have consistently prevented him from getting an extended run of games.

Despite Chelsea’s current woes, the champions still possess an abundance of attacking ability and the visitors will be hopeful Lucas can maintain his top form and help them achieve a positive result.

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