As expected in such a massive game, there will be important duels all over the pitch come Saturday night’s Melbourne Derby.
One of the biggest match-ups will be in midfield, with two young guns looking to have a big influence in getting their team an important three points.
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City’s Connor Metcalfe is in the midst of a breakout season and has started all of the Club’s 15 fixtures after making a total of 19 appearances last season – starting in nine of those matches.
💪 Started every game
✅ 85.7% pass completion rate
🎯 15 key passes, two assists
⚽ Three goals
❌ 26 interceptions
🤝 Can play anywhere in midfield
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) April 14, 2021
A couple of years older than Metcalfe is Victory midfielder Jake Brimmer, who has impressed in his first season at his new club.
Brimmer has played and started in all but one of Victory’s fixtures, with Metcalfe having played a total of 28 more minutes across the course of the season.
A testament to their versatility, both players can and have played in a number of different midfield roles this season.
Defensively the pair are tough to split – Metcalfe recording one more tackle (17-16), although he has attempted a couple more than his Victory counterpart.
Connor wins the ball back 💪
Release from Nabbout 🤯
Finish from Nooney 🔥
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) March 12, 2021
Metcalfe also takes the slight edge in clearances and blocks (16-3 and 6-3), but his ability to read the play and stop opposition moves has him far ahead in terms of interceptions, having made 26 this season compared to Brimmer’s 15.
The Victory midfielder does see more of the ball, averaging 10 more passes per 90 minutes, although Metcalfe does boast a slightly higher success rate at 85.7%.
It must be a frustrating season so far for Brimmer; who has made 37 key passes but only has three assists to his name. In comparison, Metcalfe has recorded two assists from his far lower 17 key passes.
Both players have found the back of the net three times from open play this season, with Metcalfe scoring a unforgettable brace in the 0-6 win as well as the winner way back in Round 1.
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) March 6, 2021
Brimmer also has a further goal to his name, scoring from the spot on his way to a brace against Perth earlier this season.