Everton’s Leighton Baines and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra are two of the English Premier League’s more dynamic flank footballers. Here’s a look at how their statistics stacked up during last season’s domestic campaign.
Baines made four more EPL appearances than Evra, competing in all 38 of his team’s matches. The Frenchman missed out on four of United’s matches, making an appearance in 34 of the 38 total.
A slight edge in terms of goals for the Everton man; five to the Manchester United man’s four. Not much difference in terms of assists, either, as each player directly setup five goals during last year’s Premier League season.
A solid argument can be made for the Englishman’s superiority in terms of creativity—particularly in regard to key passes (any pass directly leading to a shot, including assists). Baines averaged an impressive 3.1 key passes per appearance as opposed to Evra who averaged less than one per appearance (0.7).
No fault to Evra here, though, as Baines’ 3.1 key passes per match was the second highest average in all of the Premier League last season, behind only Manchester City’s David Silva (3.3).
102 - Leighton Baines is the only player in Europe's big five leagues this season to create 100+ goalscoring chances. Shuttle.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 14, 2013
Baines uncorked 0.3 more shots per appearance than Evra, with the former releasing 0.9 to the latter’s 0.6.
While Evra is known to be a pacey winger, capable of skipping past defenders with explosiveness, the Red Devil did not surpass the Toffee in terms of successful dribbles—each player averaged 0.8 per appearance.
Crossing was another category in which Baines had a numerically better Premier League season. Again, though, this is no slight to Evra: Baines connected 2.8 crosses per match, the most of any player in England’s top league last season. Evra’s 0.6 crosses per match is a far more pedestrian figure and did not crack the top twenty of all Premier League players.
The United winger did boast a higher passing accuracy rate by just about five percent: 87.1 percent pass success rate to 82.3 percent pass success rate. No significant difference in how many passes each player attempted; 43.8 passes per match for Baines and 41. 8 passes per match for Evra.
The two players are eerily similar when examining their defensive contributions during last season’s English Premier League campaign.
Each averaged 2.4 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per appearance. Evra did record more clearances, 4.9 to Baines’ average of two per appearance.
The majority of these statistics do make this a close battle but Baines’ ability to create for his teammates in terms of key passing and successful crossing tips the scales in his favor.
Data gathered from WhoScored?.