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Sports: FA Cup final to provide battle of the full-backs

There are a few parts that belong to the England team that could cause Gareth Southgate more of a problem for the coming World Cup in Qatar than the right-back position.

Three Lions boss has a number of options available for Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier, Liverpool’s Trent Alex-Arnold as well as Chelsea’s Reece James all options.

The two teams will go head-tohead this Saturday, in an livescore cz FA Cup final, so along with the chance to claim some silverware the Wembley game will also serve as an audition the chance to impress Southgate.

Alexander-Arnold and James have had great seasons. How do they differ?

This is a challenging comparison due to the different teams’ ways of playing, and one of the main reasons for their position in the respective teams comes due to the offensive element that they play.

Jurgen Klopp has set up his Liverpool team up to press their opponents and force defenses to make mistakes, and gain possession as high as it is possible.

It’s perhaps not surprising that Alexander-Arnold, who is 23, has beaten James 22, 22 in terms of getting the ball back to his team. The Liverpool player has been awarded possession significantly more often (319 instances between 150 and 319) and is averaging more interceptions than James in a 90-minute period however he has played more often than James, his Chelsea counterpart.

James however, is more adept in stopping opponents when they’re attacking. At 76% , as opposed to 58 percent that is the Chelsea full-back’s success rate in tackles is greater than Alexander-Arnold’s.

“Trent is not as good defensively as he is at going forward, but he is brilliant going forward,” former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

With his determination to be on the field and his ability to make amazing crosses, it’s not surprising that Alexander-Arnold has been involved in the creation of goals for his teammates.

in the Premier League he has 12 assists across 31 games, almost more than James has, however, there is the limitation that James is the Chelsea player has played less appearances, with only seven assists from the league coming from 22 games.

Alexander-Arnold is more effective in creating goals for his teammates, whereas James offers more than a direct threat to goal. James scores six times, as opposed to two for Alexander-Arnold which is the most prolific defensive player within the Premier League.

“He is the modern-day footballer,” said the former Manchester United defender and BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand after watching James perform a prominent role in the match against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

“We often talk about Trent Alexander-Arnold, but he’s in the same boat as him. They aren’t really able to be separated. “

What are their influence levels for their clubs?

There’s no doubt that is in Chelsea director Thomas Tuchel’s thoughts that if he’d had James on the sideline for the whole season, the Blues would have been able to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool more tightly in the title fight.

The 22-year-old was put out for two months due to an injury to the hamstring during mid-season of this season an important time for Tuchel’s team.

In his final game before his suspension in a draw 1-1 against Brighton on 29 December . Chelsea had a second place in their table with eight points ahead of Manchester City.

He’s first Premier League game was not until the 5th of March, an 4-0 victory against Burnley where James scored his first goal at the time, but by then Chelsea were just 10 points further behind the second-placed Liverpool and 13 points behind City at the top of the table.

James is essential to the manner in which Tuchel prefers to play partly due to his defensive versatility. James is equally adept as a right-wing-back as he can be a right-handed central defense.

“I would love to have two of Reece James,” Tuchel declared in December, shortly after his return from an injury.

“It’s about 50% toward the wing-back position and 45% toward those in the middle. It’s a bit dependant on the style of play the opponent is playing against us.

“I’m slightly more convinced the fact that his best position is in the wingback position, in which he’s more decisive, and more effective. However, it’s more demanding. “

Similar to that, Liverpool are weaker without Alexander-Arnold, who is a key player in their squad. He has been an integral part of Klopp’s squad for the last couple of seasons.

The ability of his team to transform defensive play into attacking is crucial in this German coach’s counter-pressing skills.

Alexander-Arnold has been scrutinized by some regarding his defensive strength. part of his game even though it’s not his best point but he’s been a part of the side that has kept at least 21 clean sheets during the Premier League this season – the only team to have more.

Similar to Tuchel along with James, Klopp wishes he could have more than one Alexander-Arnold on his squad.

“Of course, he is still in the right-back position to defend especially, then he’s a right winger, then he’s an eight, a six, a playmaker,” he told reporters during December.

Are there any advantages over the other?

Statistics provide only some of the story as well as a large portion factors influence other factors that aren’t visible including the tactics of teams, opposition and how games are played out.

The decision of who is the best fullback is subjective however only one will take over the position to play in when it comes to the World Cup later this year.

Despite their outstanding performances at club level , both players have yet to make their mark as automatically England selections. Alexander-Arnold has been selected 16 times since his debut in 2018 while James has a total of 10 caps since making his debut in the year 2020.

“For England, Gareth Southgate seems to like Kieran Trippier at right-back over these two but the way he sets his side up means England could play with two really attacking full-backs – they have got two holding midfield players and two centre-backs, sometimes three,” Lawrenson said.

“So remove the shackles and bring your man into. For me, it’d be Trent. He shades it. “

However, with Southgate on the lookout, an outstanding show in the final game of Wembley in the coming days could be a significant factor in determining who England’s first back in Qatar will be.

“It’s not like Trent does not leave any gaps at the back. “

Eleena Wills
Hi, I’m Eleena Wills. Being a writer and blogger, I strive to provide informative and valuable articles to people. With quality, constructive, and well-researched articles, one can make informed choices. I cover a wide range of topics, from home improvement to hair styling and automotive.
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