Liverpool versus Manchester United remains one of the biggest clashes in world football, despite both clubs sitting outside the Premier League’s top four and looking a shadow of their former selves.
Their latest meeting came in the recent Europa League last 16 tie, with Liverpool progressing to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate win and setting up a meeting with Borussia Dortmund.
Despite their current difficulties, both teams still possess plenty of ability and two players in particular who have had good individual seasons are holding midfielders Emre Can and Morgan Schneiderlin.
But which of the two has performed better this season? Well, statistically, there is one clear winner.
|Tackles per Game||Interceptions per Game||Duels Won per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Touches per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Key Passes per Game||Appearances|
As shown by the table provided by Opta above, Liverpool’s Emre Can comes out on top as he betters his Manchester United opponent in six of the seven key midfield categories.
The former Bayer Leverkusen ace has been superb for the Reds this season, at times breaking up play just in front of the back four and in other moments using his incredible energy levels to press high up the pitch.
Can averages more tackles, defensive duels won, ball recoveries, touches, accurate passes and chances created via key passes per Premier League fixture than United’s France international.
Schneiderlin comes out on top in terms of interceptions, and he does also post impressive numbers when in possession of the ball, yet he has not quite had the same impact as Can.
Under boss Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have started to click of late and one of their biggest strengths is their energy in midfield with Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Can all extremely mobile.
The Merseyside club picked up Germany international Can for just under £10 million after activating his release clause, and he will go down as one of the club’s best buys in recent years.