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If SAS Are The Best Strike Partnership In The Premier League, Who Are The Best Midfield Pairing?

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Based on pure numbers, Liverpool duo Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez are without a doubt the most potent strike partnership in the Premier League. So, the question is, which is the most potent midfield partnership in the league? The answer is the midfield duo from Manchester City – Yaya Toure and Fernandinho.

The Manchester City midfielders have been outstanding this season, and their power-packed displays have been a major reason behind City’s excellent showings this season. While it may be difficult to imagine how the two players would be able to dominate midfields on their own, Toure and Fernandinho have left nobody in doubt due to the manner in which they have taken control of the middle third of the pitch.

Toure has been the more advanced of the pairing and has gotten forward to great effect. The tall and powerfully built Ivorian has been a bully in midfield, outclassing several opposition players with his skills and strength. He has been a great offensive outlet for the Citizens as they have dominated most of their Premier League opponents this season.

Fernandinho on the other hand has been the more defensive minded of the two, and he has provided cover to the defense whenever Toure has been on the charge. At the same time, Fernandinho too has been effective whenever he has decided to move forward into attacking areas. Like Toure, he possesses a certain drive when going forward, and the Brazilian certainly has the ability to go past players with his strength and skill, just like his midfield partner.

Toure has scored 13 goals in 26 appearances this season, three of which have come from the penalty spot while he has also scored some great free kicks, but most of his goals have come from those driving runs into the opposition penalty box. This has been the reason behind his success and it has added an extra threat to Manchester City’s game. Fernandinho too has managed to find the net on 3 occasions in 22 appearances, two of which were a result of intelligent runs into the box.

Both Toure and Fernandinho have been involved in City’s creative play, and have created 28 chances (including 5 assists) and 26 chances (including 3 assists) respectively. This shows that despite taking turns in going forward, both are equally effective in contributing to the creative aspect of Manchester City’s game. Their passing too is top notch, with Toure having an average passing accuracy of 90% while it is 88% for Fernandinho.

Of the two, the Brazilian’s defensive numbers are much better though. He has won 41% of the 133 attempted tackles compared to Toure’s 32% of 96 attempted tackles. Aerially too, Fernandinho has been dominant over the Ivorian as he has won 76% of 38 aerial duels compared to Toure’s 50% of 42 aerial duels, while the numbers in terms of defensive actions is also vastly superior – Fernandinho averages 4.2 defensive actions per game (52 interceptions, 39 clearances and 2 blocks) while Toure averages 1.9 defensive actions per game (19 interceptions, 28 clearances and 3 blocks).

Overall, they make an excellent pairing, who complement each other nicely and cover for one another. While both are equally effective in the creative front as well as going forward or staying back to help out the defense, Toure has excelled in his more advanced role while Fernandinho has made the more defensive role his own.

What makes them such a dangerous pair is that just stopping one means the other is always available to step up to the plate and cover for the other, and hence they deserve to be recognized as the best midfield pairing of the Premier League.