Key Battle: Metcalfe v Rufer


Off the back of another quick turnaround, Melbourne City FC will be back in action in the A-League on Sunday evening when it hosts Wellington Phoenix.

In the heart of midfield – as he has been all season – will be Connor Metcalfe and he’ll be looking to continue his breakout season – having made his 50th appearance for the Club in its last fixture.

The Olyroo has started in all 21 of City’s matches this season and has well and truly made his mark as one of the best young players in the A-League.

Come out to AAMI Park and watch Metcalfe and his City teammates in action on Sunday evening! Click here to get tickets.

Metcalfe’s versatility has been a highlight but another midfielder also enjoying a strong season is Wellington’s Alex Rufer, who generally takes the defensive midfield role.

Rufer has seen a little less time on the pitch but has still appeared in 18 of the Phoenix’s 21 fixtures, starting all but two of those.

Owing to his often more defensive role, Rufer has the edge in most of the key defensive metrics, ahead in clearances (26-18) and interceptions (36-31). That being said, Metcalfe is the better tackler of the pair, having won 53.5% of his 43 attempted, compared to Rufer who has won the ball 43.3% of the time from 30 challenges.

The Phoenix midfielder is on the ball far more than Metcalfe making an average of 20 passes more per game, but the success rate of these passes is almost identical.

Going forward is where Metcalfe has really shone this season, playing a big part in a large number of City’s forward thrusts.

He’s made 22 key passes for a total of three assists – Rufer having recorded the same number of assists from 14 key passes.

Metcalfe has found the back of the net on five occasions this season, four times on the left and once on the right, while the New Zealander has never scored from his 86 A-League appearances.