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Smalling (Manchester United) vs. Alderweireld (Tottenham): Who Comes Out On Top In This Stats Battle?

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Chris Smalling

Smalling  vs. Alderweireld

The surprise player of the season, well at least in terms of defenders has to be Chris Smalling. The Manchester United central defender certainly wasn’t on the minds of anyone when asked who could be the best defender in the league this season but after signing a contract extension under Louis van Gaal, the Englishman has only gone from strength to strength. He, along with a few of his teammates have ensured that Manchester United have the tightest defence in the league and that is certainly a credit to all the hard work he was done in off-season.

Another player who seems to be getting better as the season progresses is Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian was one of the stars for Southampton last season, but he was snapped up from their parent club, Atletico Madrid by Tottenham and his partnership with Jan Vertonghen is blossoming.

Both players are still relatively young and growing, we compare two of the best central defenders in the league with the use of Squawka.com.

England vs. Belgium

With both teams are known for their passing, or at least Manchester United known for their sideways passing, it should come as no surprise that the central defenders have one of the highest pass completion rates. Chris Smalling wins this duel with an 86% pass competition rate on average compared to Alderweireld’s 82% for Tottenham.

When it comes to tackling though, it is Smalling who wins again when compared to Toby. The Manchester United defender has on average won 1.46 tackles per game in the Premier League this season compared to just 0.46 tackles won per game for the Belgian.

Even in the air it is the Manchester United player who scores better than the Tottenham defender. Smalling has won 65.52% of his headers this season while Alderweireld has only come up with a 55.56% success rate in winning headers for the White half of London.

Interceptions is another stat where Smalling trumps Alderweireld as he comes home with 2.31 interceptions compared to just 1.69 for the Belgian. However, Toby does win a couple of stats from Smalling. The Belgian scores better in the blocks made per game with an average of 0.62 blocks compared to the 0.46 by Smalling. Indeed, the Belgian is better at clearances as well since he notches up 7.54 clearances on an average compared to 6.23 for Smalling.

For all their ability, the stats have shown that Smalling is a better central defender at the moment that Alderweireld, though credit must also be given to Toby’s defensive partner who has done extremely well for the team. Smalling though leads the way for the Red Devils this season and will hope that some silverware comes to their side of Manchester.

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