Today we are going to take a closer look into the stats and performance of the three players, fighting for the last spot in Inter’s midfield versus Liverpool. First, we have the warrior Arturo Vidal with a lot of experience in such battles. Then there is Vecino- the man who had the magic touch in a lot of the team’s most important games in the recent years. And last, Inzaghi can bet on the stability provided by Roberto Roberto Gagliardini. Let’s compare their seasons so far. This will probably give a better perspective before Wednesday’s game.
We will start with the current favorite according to most sources – Arturo Vidal. The Chilean International played in 24 (1683 minutes on the pitch) games this season, 5 of them in the Group Phase of the Champions league. Overall, he helped the team with 2 goals and 3 assist. We saw the best version of Vidal exactly in the Champions League. He scored once and assisted twice during the two fixtures versus Sheriff to put Inter on the right track. Interesting fact is that these were the only games where he started from the first minute. From the three candidates to replace Barella, Vidal is definitely the biggest attacking thread. The Chilean averaged 1.56 shots per game with and xG of 0.21. He also has 0.95 key passes, 5.5 offensive duels won and 2.23 touches in the opposite penalty area per 90 minutes during the campaign. This can be crucial as Inter is currently not in the best possible attacking form. That means that the strikers will need all the help they can get from the midfield.
But versus a team like Liverpool, you have to defend even harder. Vidal knows how to do that on the grandest of stages. This season we see 2.78 interceptions and 0.56 clearances per game from him. Another important statistic we would focus on is the recoveries in the opponent half. Inter will need to get the ball back as soon as possible and not give Liverpool a chance on the break. Vidal is very good at that with 6.24 recoveries in the opponent’s half per game. Inter can’t afford plenty of mistakes versus Klopp’s side either. Passing will have to be almost perfect and Vidal has the remarkable 89% succession rate in this category. And last but not least, we have to take into consideration his experience. Vidal has 81 fixtures in the Champions League, so he surely knows how to handle these kinds of challenges.
Let’s move on to Vecino. The goals versus Lazio, Milan, Spurs and many more. Some crucial assists and overall great performances in very difficult games over the years. Does he have another one prepared for Liverpool? Vecino featured in 19 games this season with 1364 minutes on the pitch. Looking at his attacking stats we find a total of two goals with xG of 0.17. Matias provided 0.46 key passes and averaged 0.46 successful dribbles with 2.97 offensive duels won per game. He is stable when moving the ball with 83.2 % succession rate in that category.
Still, Vecino’s is more of a defensive midfielder compared to Arturo Vidal. The Uruguayan is very solid with 4.62 interceptions and 1.19 clearances every 90 minutes. Probably the most impressive stat is his 7.98 interceptions per game. He also won 7.39 defensive duels per game -56% succession rate. It is worth mentioning that according to a lot of reports he was the favorite for the las spot before picking up an injury this weekend.
And last, we will take a closer look at Gagliardini’s season. He played in only 14 games so far for the total of 681 minutes. The Italian Inernational contributed to the attacking stats of Inter with two goals and one assist all in Serie A. He is probably the one that will not surprise with his performance. Not the biggest attacking thread you can get, but a lot of hard work, dedication and running. Stable when it comes to passing, Gagliardini has 89% successful rate. The Italian International also does his job properly in defense with 5.02 interceptions and 0.53 clearances per game. One of his most impressive statistics – averaging 8.72 % defensive duels won per 90’. Gagliardini also recovered the ball 6.08 times and provided 0.26 key passes per game. In his last Serie A fixture, he did a very good job versus Lazio’s Sergej Milinković-Savić. That was probably his best game this season, for which he was highly rated among fans and media.
This was our analysis on who and why should replace the suspended Nicolo Barella. We would be glad to hear your opinion on the matter and your prediction for Wednesday’s big game.