A derby is always a derby, especially when it’s between the two Milan sides who have created so much history in Italy and Europe. The next meeting will kick off the 32nd round of fixtures with an unusual 12:30 CEST kick-off and it’s extra important with the two sides battling one another for European qualification. Using Opta stats, this week’s statistical comparison will see Roberto Gagliardini and Manuel Locatelli face off as two of the most promising young Italian players on opposite sides of the divide.
Gagliardini has been considered to be the revelation of the year after moving from Serie B to a big club and making his Italy debut. After emerging at Atalanta, he has made a total of 24 appearances with 1,719 minutes spent on the pitch all season. Locatelli is not disappointing on his part after making 22 appearances and spending 1,476 minutes out on the pitch which is an excellent tally for a player born in 1998 who is already at the heart of Luigi Di Biagio’s Under-21 side.
In terms of distribution, their figures are relatively similar. The Inter man has connected with 84.6 per cent of his passes from 1,021 attempted while his Milan counterpart has a success rate of 83.3 per cent from 1,048 attempts. Such figures are above average for both players compared to the rest of their team. They’re close also in individual duels with Gagliardini winning out 56.2 per cent of the time compared to 55.2 per cent for Locatelli. They’re close again in tackling with the Rossoneri man successful 81 per cent of the time and his opposite number for the Nerazzurri wins out 79.2 per cent of the time. The first obvious difference is in aerial duels where the more physical Inter player has a success rate of 62.5 per cent compared to 53.8 per cent for Locatelli.They’ve won the ball back 123 and 106 times respectively but there is a large discrepancy in interceptions with Gagliardini up 42 to 17. Neither has been sent off this campaign and both have been booked six times.
Gagliardini had to wait until 5th March before scoring his first goal in the top flight as Inter beat Cagliari heavily and he then scored the next week against his former team. Overall, he has come up with two assists and created 21 chances. Locatelli’s first goal in Serie A was on 4th October against Sassuolo and his second goal was a memorable winner against Juventus.