They are two of the exciting young stars of the Hyundai A-League and are set for an explosive battle when Melbourne City hosts Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.
It’s City young gun Daniel Arzani up against Wanderers winger Chris Ikonomidis in a clash which has the potential to light up AAMI Park.
Arzani has thrived since being brought into City’s starting side by Warren Joyce almost two months ago, with his fearless, attacking style a joy to watch.
The 19-year-old has shown great maturity and confidence, not afraid to unleash his silky skills against more experienced and physically strong defenders.
But Ikonomidis has also made a significant impact since joining the Wanderers in January, recapturing some of the form that has seen him win six Caltex Socceroos caps.
There is no doubt that both players produce their best work in the attacking third. But how do they compare?
So far in 2017/18, both scored two goals apiece, with Arzani [12 matches] producing nine shots on target compared to Ikonomidis’ [six appearances] five.
Arzani’s strongest attribute is his ability to dribble and his strength on the ball. He will often take on multiple defenders at a time and successfully dribble past them.
The City playmaker he has had a remarkable 59 successful dribbles this season, compared to just 17 for Ikonomidis.
Arzani also has the upper hand when it comes to shooting accuracy, with an impressive 60% shooting accuracy to just 26.3% for the Wanderers flyer.
When it comes to assists, Arzani has provided three goals for his teammates so far, with none for Ikonomidis, while the City teenager has had five successful crosses and 12 key passes, compared to five and nine for Ikonomidis.
Ikonomidis, on loan at the Wanderers from Italian side Lazio, has won seven tackles at a success rate of 70%, compared to eight tackles won by Arzani at a 61.5% success rate.
The Western Sydney winger edges it when it comes to clearances [two to none], but Arzani [two] has made one more interception.
Saturday night’s clash is a huge occasion for both clubs, with the three points vital to cement their position in the top six.
And it might just be whichever one of these two attacking gems dominates the other that could determine which side comes out on top.
Can’t wait to see how this one plays out at AAMI Park!
This article was originally published at: www.a-league.com.au/news/key-battle-arzani-v-ikonomidis