Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard. Two biggest stars of the current generation. The Real Madrid and Chelsea players, respectively, are both key players for their sides and have a huge say in how the season shapes for their teams.
Eden Hazard, after a disastrous last year, is back to his best for Chelsea this season. The 2014-15 PFA Player of the Year is showing his class under Antonio Conte in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 system. The system affords him the freedom to run at defenders at will, which has bring the best out of the Belgian this season. He along with Diego Costa has been the most stand-out player of the season till date.
Gareth Bale, on the other hand, has had a relatively slow start to the season for Real Madrid having missed two games early in the season due to injury. But he was showing signs of form until an ankle injury against Sporting in the UEFA Champions League has brought his campaign to a halt. The Welsh star is expected to be out for quite a long time, meaning he will definitely miss the El Clasico in the upcoming week.
Comparisons between the two attackers are never far away, with Hazard continuously linked with a move to the Spanish capital and the Welshman, with a surprise move back to the Premier League. With both players having a big role to play in their team’s fortunes over the course of the season, we take a look at how the two have fared so far this season.
Eden Hazard, in the English Premier League, has been absolutely prolific so far in his 12 appearances. Having scored seven goals this season, the Belgian has one assist so far and has created 26 clear-cut chances. Bale, in 11 La Liga appearances in the ongoing season, has scored 5 times for Madrid, has an assist more than the Belgian, but has created only 16 chances, 10 less than Hazard.
Hazard, already having scored more than his goal tally last season, has been more deadly in front of goal among the two, as indicated by a higher shot accuracy (63%) than that of the Welshman (49%).
Hazard has completed 454 passes this season with a pass accuracy of 85%, of which 66% were forward passes compared to Bale’s 298 passes at a lesser accuracy of 79%, and only 51% of those were directed forwards.
The Belgian also has an upper hand when it comes to taking on the opponents with 72 attempts, 51 of which have been successful, compared to Gareth Bale’s 38, of which only 15 have yielded the desired result. Surprisingly, fewer numbers for the 27-year old Madrid star, given the positions he plays in.
The 25-year old former Lille player has been fouled 40 times so far this season by an opponent, whereas Bale has been on the receiving end 12 times, while both players have fouled their opponents 7 times each.
The Welshman, though, comes out on top when it comes to aerial duels owing to his larger physical stature compared to the diminutive Hazard, having had 27 successful attempts at headed duels out of 44 compared to the Belgian’s 7 out of 19 tries.
It is quite evident from the numbers that Eden Hazard has been the more superior of the two attackers and his inspired form for Chelsea sees them at the top of the Premier League table. Gareth Bale, on the other hand, has shown glimpses of his immense capabilities but has not been able to produce the goods on a consistent basis so far. And with his latest injury set to keep him out for quite some time, it will not be a shocker to see Hazard finish the season with better numbers come May.
Note: The article was written prior to GW 12