Welcome to the second part of “Who is the best EPL Player so far this season” in which I, NUFC_Stats, have created a stats battle consisting of the 16 best players according to the Official EA Sports Performance Index. As there’s a break from EPL football we thought we’d put this little series together of which Part 3 will be published on Monday.
If you missed part 1 you can read it here for results of the first round of head to head stats battles: Who is the best EPL Player so far? Part 1
If you’ve now caught up we’re at the Quarter Final stage:
Sergio Aguero V Robin van Persie
No messing about with this one, straight into the goal data. 15 for the Argentine and 22 for the Dutchman; that equates to a goal every 117 mins for Aguero and every 98 mins for van Persie. Despite having a healthy midfield behind him, Aguero only manages a shot every 48 mins compared to RVP’s 42 and accuracy-wise, the Arsenal man victors by 3%.
Behind the goals, van Persie produces way more crosses, creates more chances and has a healthier assist rate, having a sole hand in no less than 29 of Arsenal’s Premier League goals this season compared to 19 from Aguero.
There’s no doubting the impact Sergio Aguero has had on English football since his arrival; the ‘mini-Maradona’ has simply graced the game right from the off – but no one up top is having as big an impact as Robin van Persie presently.
WINNER – ROBIN VAN PERSIE
Wayne Rooney V David Silva
A good stat battle here most would agree. Both play the game very similarly, being their teams’ main point of attack and most in possession. They both play in that hole between the opposition’s midfield and defensive ranks and both have unquestioned quality and ability to really hurt teams.
A look just at goals would be unfair, especially when you consider the number of penalties Rooney has had this season alongside the fact that he does get asked to spearhead the attack often, which is not a position played by Silva.
Only 148 minutes separate these two (in favour of Silva), the Spaniard having started 2 more games than the Englishman. The passing numbers show Silva is the more composed; 86% of his passes have been accurate in comparison to Rooney’s 80%, from nearly 400 more passes too.
Silva has also created over double the chances Rooney has, only 3 of which have been from set plays and no player in the EPL has as many assists as the Spanish playmaker. Rooney does have 12 more goals but that should be expected considering the roles, especially as Rooney has been presented with nearly double the shots Silva has.
Speaking of shooting, Silva may not have been involved in as many opportunities to score, but when he has shot, his accuracy is only 2% short of the England forward’s.
The battles are obviously getting tougher and tougher and the comparison of stats is getting more difficult when the context of each playing role is considered. However, if you ask the question ‘which player has been the most effective?’, then Silva has to be the one that pops up when you reflect on his contribution to the whole team.
WINNER – DAVID SILVA
Gareth Bale V Luka Modric
So, the two team mates get drawn together. It just goes to show how fantastic a season Tottenham have had when you look at the players involved in this ‘competition’ and the individual stats of their players which obviously reflects their impressive league position.
Only one 90 minutes is the difference between the two’s Premier League playing time this season. In role comparison, Bale plays the game a lot more direct, with pace and power his distinct attributes, where as the Croatian plays a more thought-out game, with patient possession and innovative link play. However, both players have a very similar job from midfield – supply, support, score!
Modric outdoes his Welsh compatriot when it comes to passing – 9% more of the Croat’s passes are accurate. He also plays 2% more of his passes forward than Bale, and Bale plays 8% more of his passes backwards.
Modric is the slightly better ball carrier, completing a successful dribble every 1.52 games compared to 1.67 for Bale and although the wideman has produced significantly more crosses, Modric does have the better crossing accuracy.
When it comes to supply and score, Bale is the outright conqueror. He’s created 7 more chances than Modric, 3 less from set plays, and he has 7 assists to his name as opposed to Modric’s 4. Add Bale’s 9 league goals (6 more) to that and you get your champ.
WINNER – GARETH BALE
Patrice Evra V John Terry
A battle far easier to gage than Terry’s previous encounter – a full back versus a centre back can be judged on sheer defensive qualities, the ability to stop the opposition scoring. Evra has started 2 more games than the Chelsea captain, a total of 116 minutes difference.
For ground 50-50’s, Evra has been involved in notably more and has 10% less success rate than Terry. Tackle-wise, Evra peaks above the Chelsea man, winning 76% of 19 more tackles than John Terry, compared to his 70%. And, aerially, both players have been involved in 54 duels this season, John Terry being the considerable winner – 78% wins to 52% from the Frenchman.
Terry has produced more interceptions, allowed passed less dribbles and lost possession 22 less time than his Man Utd opponent and, although Evra has made 2 less defensive mistakes, it has to be the former England captain that progresses here.
WINNER – JOHN TERRY
All of the stats in this article are from the EPLIndex.com Stats Centre. If you’re interested in stats you can Subscribe to gain access here: Subscribe to the EPLIndex.com Stats Centre