Key Battle: Vlajnic v De La Harpe


Melbourne City FC will close out its season when it hosts Perth Glory at Frank Holohan Reserve this Friday night, with the home side looking to cap off its recent good form with a third-consecutive win and clean sheet.

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One player who will be vital to City’s chances of another shutout is wingback Tyla-Jay Vlajnic, with the Serbian international now into her fifth season at the club.

Trying to limit Vlajnic’s influence will be Perth’s Deborah De La Harpe, who has been both a creative and defensive force from fullback for her side.

Both defenders have played a similar amount of minutes and have featured prominently for their clubs, with both Vlajnic and De La Harpe starting in 10 of their sides’ 11 games played.

The pair post very similar numbers in respect to their defensive responsibilities, with Vlajnic recording 15 clearances, two blocks and 22 interceptions to De La Harpe’s 13, 4 and 21.

Both players boast similar tackle success rates (58.6% to 52.9%) but Vlajnic doubles her counterpart’s successful tackles made.

The pair are also comparable in their passing; De La Harpe’s success rate of 67.2% is superior to Vlajnic’s 59%, with the defenders recording similar passing volumes.

Despite her more advanced wingback role, Vlajnic has played fewer key passes (6) than her Glory counterpart (13), who operates as a traditional fullback. Neither defender has recorded an assist yet, despite their contributions to the build-up play of their respective sides.

Whilst both Vlajnic and De La Harpe have been shown the yellow card once (with Vlajnic’s booking being followed by a red later in the same game), it’s the City wingback who has been pulled up by the referee less, conceding just seven fouls to De La Harpe’s 15.

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