Francis Coquelin will come face-to-face with the man he’s been compared to since he returned to Arsenal from Charlton.
Widely seen as the best defensive midfielder in the league, Namanja Matic has been integral to Chelsea’s success this season and it is something that Le Coq both admires and hopes to emulate.
“What he’s done is unbelievable,” Coquelin told Arsenal Player.
“At Chelsea he is one of the main men so credit to him, he’s had a great season and is a great player.
“It’s always good to play against players like that.
“It’s an important position and Matic has shown how important he is – that’s what I’m trying to do as well for Arsenal.
“The fans want a good defensive midfielder, they know it’s important for the team.”
Some might say that he’s already doing that as the stats comparing the two players have regularly shown.
Coquelin has already notched up more interceptions than the Chelsea man (62 v 60) despite playing 13 games fewer in the league. He’s also matched the ‘best defensive midfielder’s’ block total.
On a per 90 minute basis, Le Coq outdoes Matic in tackles won (3.4 v 2.8), tackles lost (3.3 v 4), and clearances (4.4 v 4.35).
More of the same, if you please.