Cagliari vs. Inter on Saturday will provide the Nerazzurri with a chance to return to the top of the Serie A league standings, although it could only be brief. Taking on a determined Cagliari side, the Sardinians have recently discovered both balance and composure within Italy’s top tier, currently occupying 13th place in Serie A. As for this week’s statistical analysis in collaboration with Opta, our head-to-head is focused on two young and dynamic midfielders, who are quickly earning themselves an extremely positive reputation across the Italian footballing landscape. It’s Nicolò Barella vs. Roberto Gagliardini.
The true bastion of this Rossoblu side is precisely the young midfielder, who has also emerged as an impressive performer for the Under-21 National Team. He has stood out even in periods of difficulty, achieving an overall average rating that has passed 6.5. Starting in all 13 league matches this season, he has so far recorded 1,117 minutes of playing time. Meanwhile, Gagliardini, has somewhat struggled in replicating some of the form shown last season, as he previously earned his spot in a competitive Inter side and also the National Team. Nevertheless, he has certainly improved in recent games and also played a key role for Spalletti’s side. He has made 12 overall appearances and started nine games, recording 745 minutes of playing time.
In regard to completed passes, they are amazingly both level with 85.5 per cent. Barella is higher in regard to attempted passes with 627, in comparison to Gagliardini’s 581. However, the Inter man does have an excellent record in duels won with 63.3 per cent (52.1 per cent for Saturday evening’s opponent), while Barella does set the bar in regard to balls recovered, retrieving 93 (Gagliardini’s total is just 59). This tenacious attitude is also reflected in his tackling efficiency, coming out on top in 73 per cent of cases. They’ve both received four yellow cards a piece this season, neither yet to see red.
Offensively, Barella has an extremely interesting set of statistics, having had 15 chances on goal, scored twice and also produced one assist. As for his upcoming opponent, Gagliardini is yet to score, having had just five total chances.