Melbourne City will play its second last game of the season on Tuesday night when it takes on Adelaide United at ANZ Stadium. It is a crucial contest for both teams and will be shaped by match-ups all across the pitch. One of these key match-ups will be between two of the A-League’s top midfielders, Josh Brillante and Stefan Mauk.
Brillante has seen a little more time on the pitch this season, due to Mauk missing some time through a quad injury. Both have started all but one game they’ve appeared in, with Brillante having made 24 appearances this season compared to Mauk’s 18. Brillante has also played a large number more minutes, having only been subbed off once will Mauk has been subbed off six times.
Brillante is the more defensive minded of the two, as can be seen from the numbers. His tackles have a 72.5% success rate (51 attempted tackles) and he has made 40 interceptions and 35 clearances this season. Mauk tackles with a 47.1% success rate (34 attempts) and has made 14 interceptions and 16 clearances so far this season.
Compared to Brillante (58.9 passes per 90 mins), Mauk doesn’t get on the ball quite as much, with the Adelaide midfielder averaging 39.1 passes per 90 minutes. In terms of distribution, the players’ numbers are quite similar. Brillante boasts an 84.1% success rate, slightly higher than Mauk’s 81.2%. Mauk goes forward with his passes (33.9%) a little more often than Brillante (29.7%), who at times prefers to go backwards or sideways to help his team retain possession.
Brillante has recorded three assists from 24 key passes while Mauk has made 15 key passes without an assist, the difference in minutes played between the two is of course a big factor in the difference in this stat.
Both players have scored once this season, with Brillante recording seven shots on target from 20 attempts. Mauk has been slightly more accurate with five on target from 14 attempts.
As per usual, Brillante will be looking to control the midfield for City and provide support to his back four. Mauk will try to use his speed and skill to find a way through a City defence that looked solid in its last outing against Sydney.
This match will kick off at 7:30pm on Tuesday night and will be live on FOX Sports and streamed on Kayo and the MyFootball Live app.