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Football

17th Oct 2019

Scott McTominay’s stats compared to Fabinho’s aren’t as bad as you’d think

SportsJOE

Brought to you by Ladbrokes

Context, folks. Always learn the context.

United are on the back foot for most of their games. They’d call themselves a counter-attacking team but they’re getting less and less chances to actually counter nowadays. Liverpool are dominating, they have most of the ball, and they’re not giving it away when they have it.

There’s less leg work to do in the Liverpool engine room than in United’s because they get to play a bit themselves and they have a front three who are available as outlets and who will hold on to the ball when they get it.

That being said, it’s still surprising to see Scott McTominay stack up so well beside Fabinho in terms of cold, hard numbers this season.

Fabinho is central to so much of what the league leaders do. He anchors them, he orchestrates the press and he offers them drive with and without the ball but it is McTominay who leads the way in terms of interceptions so far in the Premier League.

The Opta stats below compare the two holding midfielders for their performances in this campaign and, whilst McTominay has more interceptions and more shots and the same amount of assists – and more minutes played, mind you – Fabinho is ahead in the following:

  • Chances created
  • Passes
  • Passing accuracy
  • Tackles

Via Opta.

United welcome Liverpool on Sunday with McTominay as one of their more consistent players – if not spectacular. His influence isn’t as great on his team as Fabinho’s is though and that’s just one match-up where Jurgen Klopp’s men dwarf their rivals.

It’s hard to see anything other than a ninth successive Liverpool win and that’s why they should be your pick in the score predictor – even in spite of good, old McTominay.

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The fixtures for this week are below so we’ll give you some help.

Manchester United v Liverpool

(Sunday, 4.30pm)

Pogba’s out. Martial might still be out. Shaw might still be out. De Gea is out. And United have been a shambles.

Liverpool have won eight games in a row.

Is there more to say?

Solskjaer’s men have no discernible tactic. They all play it safe, passing to someone in a worse position than them until they lose it and this pattern repeats for 90 minutes. They sit deep and struggle to get out with a lack of power, quality coaching and confidence.

Liverpool are rampant. Even when they’re not playing well, they’re winning. But the games they were said to be wobbling in were away to Chelsea and against the impressive Leicester – and they won. They’ll win this one too.

Prediction: United 0-2 Liverpool

Crystal Palace v Manchester City

Saturday (5.30pm)

The clash of the titans – Pep Guardiola versus the only English manager that has ever beaten Pep Guardiola.

Everyone’s raving about Leicester for being the bolters this season but Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace sit level on points with them, just two off City in second place.

They’ve disposed of United at Old Trafford, they’ve beaten West Ham away and, now, Palace are going for three wins on the trot.

Travelling doesn’t bother Man City much though and, as Opta’s stats would show you, they enjoy themselves on the road – a lot.

Manchester City have won 10 of their last 11 away league games, losing only against Norwich in this run. They’ve found the net at least once in each of their last 15 league games on the road, netting 36 goals in total.

The only worry for Pep’s machine is when they concede first.

Since the start of last season, they’ve conceded first five times, according to Opta. Four times they failed to turn it around (W1, D1, L3).

This season, they’ve conceded first on two occasions already. They lost both games.

Prediction: Palace 1-3 City

Hearts v Rangers

(Sunday 12.15pm)

There hasn’t been a draw in a top-flight meeting between Hearts and Rangers at Tynecastle in any of the last 15 such meetings (five Hearts wins, 10 Rangers) since a 1-1 draw in March 2006 (Opta).

Rangers have Jermain Defoe in rampant form and they’ve won their last three league games by an aggregate score of 14-0.

Hearts, however, have Glenn Whelan.

It’s first versus ninth, it’s seven wins versus one. It’s inevitable.

Prediction: Hearts 0-3 Rangers

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