The two defensive midfielders are key to their sides, but who has performed better so far this season?
Southampton have continued to impress under Ronald Koeman, while Stoke are keen to maintain their improvement under Mark Hughes in recent seasons.
Two players who play big parts in both sides are the defensive midfielders, providing the stable base which allows others to thrive.
But who has been better so far this season? We decided to take a look at the stats to find out.
|Season||Total Pass per Game||Accurate Pass per Game||Unsuccessful Touch per Game||Won Tackle per Game||Interception Won per Game||Outfielder Block per Game|
And it’s a clear win for Whelan, who comes out on top in four of the six categories we looked at.
The Stoke star has enjoyed more passes per game as well as more accurate passes per game than Wanyama so far. He has also enjoyed fewer unsuccessful touches per game.
Defensively, though, it is Wanyama who is superior, as he has registered more successful tackles per game as well as more won interceptions than Whelan.
The latter does, however, manage to come out on top when it comes to outfielder blocks per game.
A win for Whelan in this head to head then, and he’ll be hoping it’s the same in this weekend’s clash as another important three points are put on the line.
*article edited for inaccuracies