Stats compare Man United and Man City midfield maestros

Has the recent praise for Marouane Fellaini and criticism of Yaya Toure been justified? The stats suggest not

fellaini v yaya toure
Marouane Fellaini v Yaya Toure Photo: www.oulala.com

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was described as “impossible to drop” by manager Louis van Gaal and has been widely praised from all corners this season after some fine performances.

On the other side of Manchester, City talisman Yaya Toure has appeared to have had a somewhat flat campaign and recently attracted criticism from Jamie Carragher for his effort and commitment towards his team’s title push.

Similar players but differing opinions.

With the midfielders about to go head to head in Sunday’s Manchester derby, www.oulala.com decided to take a closer look at the pair to discover whether the praise Fellaini has received and the criticism Toure has faced is fully justified. The stats suggest otherwise.

The data shows clearly that Fellaini is the more physical player with Toure the more technical. The Manchester United midfielder has won a far higher percentage of tackles (47.2 per cent to 29.9 per cent) and also edges duels aerially (59.9 per cent to 55.4 per cent).

The Belgian also holds the better shot accuracy (56 per cent to 41 per cent). However, of the nine key areas analysed the 27-year-old only leads for three.

Toure has proved to be much more productive this season than Fellaini scoring more goals (eight to four) and providing more assists (one to none), also enjoying a better pass completion (89 per cent to 85 per cent) with far more successful passes per game than the Belgian (79 to 36.1).

In fact, the Ivorian leads the entire Premier League for successful passes, on average nine more passes per game than Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas and a remarkable twenty more than team-mate David Silva who sits third overall.

The 31-year-old’s excellent passing stats impress further, with more key passes per game (1.13 to 0.65) and more chances created per game (1.17 to 0.65).

In summary, Fellaini’s improvement is clear since last season and the praise seen more than warranted however the criticism aimed at Toure is clearly unjust with the Ivorian making strong claims to be as undroppable as the United man, maybe even more so.

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