Liverpool Midfield Comparison | Vs Aston Villa, Arsenal, Cardiff, and Chelsea

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Following Liverpool’s defeat to Arsenal, and with their midfield being the decisive factor between the two sides, the Anfield Index team has put our own midfield under the microscope to see how they compare to our Premier League rivals using statistics from WhoScored.

Editors Note: Please note that this is the author’s first attempt at using statistics in their articles.

The entire league has been split up into five groups:

Group 1: Aston Villa, Arsenal, Cardiff City & Chelsea (This Article)
Group 2: Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham & Hull City (Article written by Ashley Brewer)
Group 3: Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United & Norwich City (Article written by Zak Forster)
Group 4: Southampton, Stoke, Swansea & Sunderland
Group 5: West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur

In this article the stats of Group 1 will be compared to Liverpool FC’s midfield of Gerrard, Henderson and Lucas.

Liverpool Midfield Comparison - Stats AFC, CFC, AVFC

Liverpool’s midfield in comparison to Aston Villa’s

As the graphs shows all three of Liverpool’s midfielders trump Villa’s in terms of total passes, this is mostly to due with Brendan Rodgers pass and move system. What impressed me most was even though the total passing numbers were much higher than Villa’s, Gerrard, Henderson, and Lucas all had a higher passing percentage as well. The three Liverpool midfielders combined for an average passing percentage of 87.7%, while Weimann, El Ahmadi, and Westwood only mustered an average of 80.7%. The system both respected  clubs use may differ in terms of the amount of passing but no matter what system accuracy is crucial,  the edge goes to Liverpool.

Breaking down passing even further you can see all three Liverpool midfielder players average more passes per game than their Villa counterparts, this again is due to the high passing emphasis implemented by Rodgers. The three Liverpool midfielders combined almost double Villa’s passes per game average, again Liverpool gets the edge in this category.

Liverpool also have an advantage when looking at defensive numbers.  While Lucas and Gerrard are tops in the interceptions statistic, Westwood finds himself third while Weimann and Henderson are even for the fourth position. The thing that obviously stands out when you look at the interceptions graph is Lucas leading the way with 24, as you will see later in this post, no one even comes close to his numbers.

Winning the ball back is a huge part of Rodgers system and there is no one better in this group at doing that then Lucas.  When comparing the two midfields in terms of successful tackles again Lucas tops the group. El Ahmadi sits second in interceptions while Henderson and Gerrard have out tackled both Weimann and Westwood substantially . Liverpool also have a strangle hold on aerial duel wins with all three Liverpool midfielders above Villa’s.

A midfield that can score goals and create goals goes a long way in football. Again Liverpool see an advantage in both chances created and goal scored. Steven Gerrard has the same amount of chances created as all three of Villa’s midfielders combined. Gerrard’s goal mark is also equal to that of El Ahmadi’s and Weimann’s goal sum.

Lucas is the weak link for Liverpool in these categories only creating three chances thus far, but as seen in the defensive categories his focus is deflating chances and not creating. Liverpool supporters will hopefully see more production from Henderson in terms of goals scored as he’s yet to find the net this season, but his 12 chances created are good enough for second in this pairing. Gerrard’s production in these category lifts the Reds over the club from England’s second city.

To quickly summarise after looking at seven different categories, and Liverpool topping all seven it’s easy to deduce that Liverpool have the more productive midfield over Aston Villa.

Liverpool’s midfield in comparison to Arsenal’s

Most of you may have read in Jonny Mullins tactical analysis of Liverpool’s recent defeat to the Gunners by now (if not give it a look). Mullin’s goes into great detail of how the Red’s were outperformed rather than outplayed, but how does Liverpool’s midfield compare in terms of stats stacked up against Arsenal?

Again we will compare total passes and average passes per game. Aaron Ramsey tops the group with a total of 733 passes, but Liverpool’s midfield makes up the next three slots, though one shouldn’t get carried away as injuries have limited both Wilshere’s and Flamini’s total appearances.

Average passes per game are similar with the only change in order being Lucas over Henderson. The Gunners have the advantage in terms of passing percentage with an average of 88.5% versus 87.7%. With the statistics as tight as they are, it’s hard to chose which clubs holds the advantage, but with a higher passing percentage I’m going to give the nod to Arsenal.

TACKLEWINSARESENALFIXED

The only player who trumps Lucas in total tackles from the four clubs being compared is Aaron Ramsey. Flamini and Wilshere again finish last in this category being no where close to Gerrard and Henderson’s numbers. In terms of interceptions again Lucas tops the chart with 24 and Gerrard below him with 13. Ramsey’s great season offensively has also translated well into his defensive game as he grabs the third slot with 12 total interceptions. Flamini slightly has the edge on Henderson with two more total tackles than Liverpool’s midfielder.

ARESENALINTERCEPTIONSFIXED

When analysing aerial duels again you see Lucas at the top, Gerrard follows, and Ramsey third. Flamini and Henderson are only separated by one successful duel and Wilshere has been unsuccessful in three duels.  If you average interceptions, tackle wins, and duel wins from both teams, Liverpool’s midfield is better defensively according to these stats than Arsenal.

DUELWINSARESENALCORRECT

Now on to where Arsenal currently hold their biggest advantage. Offensively the midfield of Arsenal’s has an 8-2 advantage in goals scored thus far this season. Ramsey who has started this season in a form most didn’t see coming and his six early season goals are the main difference when comparing the two clubs.

Arsenal goals scored vs Liverpool goals scored

Liverpool have Steven Gerrard to thank again for topping the chances created his 25 are 12 better than leading goal score Ramsey. I found it interesting that both Henderson and Wilshere have created 12 chances a piece. With the two players being similar in age they will most likely be compared to one another for the rest of their careers. Wilshere’s two goals is the only thing that can currently separate him from Henderson if looking at statistics. Liverpool have the slight edge when you average the three players from their respected clubs at 13-9 but that advantage isn’t enough for me to say Liverpool are better offensively than Arsenal, the edge belongs to the Gunners. In a brief summary both of these midfields are flushed with talent, but early on it appears the better midfield belongs to Arsenal.

Next Page: Liverpool’s Midfield compared to Cardiff and Chelsea’s!

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