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May 24, 2021   |  2:10AM AET

Key Battle: Metcalfe v O’Shea

Key Battle: Metcalfe v O’Shea

Melbourne City FC faces a short turnaround following its Saturday night win that secured the Premiers Plate, the side now set to travel to Queensland to face the Brisbane Roar on Tuesday.

Connor Metcalfe has enjoyed a breakout season in 2020/21, swiftly becoming one of City’s most influential players at just 21 years of age, his form has been so strong his name has begun to appear in conversations around Socceroos selection.

Set to battle Metcalfe for control of the midfield on Tuesday is Jay O’Shea, who has proven to be Brisbane’s primary creative force in the centre of the park this season.

Metcalfe seems to enjoy playing against Brisbane, scoring in each of the two previous fixtures this season with City running out winners in both.

The pair has made 22 and 21 appearances for their sides respectively this year, starting in every one of those except for O’Shea’s single appearance off the bench against Adelaide United recently.

A key feature of Metcalfe’s elevated game, the youngster has found the back of the net on five occasions already this campaign, whilst O’Shea has netted just twice in comparison.

Despite O’Shea’s astronomical 51 key passes made, which outdoes Metcalfe by 30, the pair are tied on three assists each.

This is also despite O’Shea’s importance to his side’s strategy in possession, playing a rather high 67.3 passes per 90 minutes at 83.4% accuracy, compared to Metcalfe’s 43.4 per 90 at 85%.

The midfield pair also get through a very comparable volume of defensive work, with Metcalfe only marginally shading O’Shea for tackles won, clearances and blocks. It’s interceptions where the City midfielder really proves his superiority, smashing O’Shea 40 to 17 in that metric.

As aforementioned, the pair have won a similar number of their tackles, but Metcalfe has attempted far more (50 to 33), which likely explains how the youngster nearly doubles his midfield opponent for fouls conceded. These transgressions haven’t translated linearly to bookings though, with the pair tied on four yellow cards each.


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