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TT Battle: Joao Moutinho vs Mateo Kovacic

After an impressive start to life in the Premier League, Wolves have had a bit of a slump in recent weeks, losing both of their last two fixtures to Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town.

And things are not set to get any easier for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men with Chelsea being their next opponents in a match where midfield could be key.

So far this season, summer signing Joao Moutinho has been excellent for the newly-promoted side, while the Blues have a host of quality options to call upon when it comes to the middle of the park including Mateo Kovacic.

With that in mind, how do the two midfielders compare?

Joao Moutinho

Alongside compatriot Ruben Neves, Moutinho has impressed in the centre for Wolves since joining from AS Monaco back in the summer.

Super-agent Jorge Mendes has brought a lot of talented players to Molineux in the last few transfer windows, and the Portuguese playmaker easily falls into that category based on what he has already produced this season alone.

In possession, he has been so calm, rarely ever being fazed by harrying opposition players before playing the right pass into a team-mate, epitomising his game.

Down the years, Moutinho should have probably scored more goals for his former sides Monaco and Porto given his ability.

But overall, he has been an efficient midfielder and is showing such this term with Wolves.

TT Grade: B+

Mateo Kovacic

Following some solid displays in his first few appearances for Chelsea, Kovacic’s influence in games has since diminished significantly leaving the 24-year-old in a battle with Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for a regular spot in Maurizio Sarri’s starting XI.

That being said, Kovacic is still a player who brings a lot of technical quality to the middle of the park.

The Croatia international has the ability to dribble out of almost any situation, while he can also pass very well through the lines.

Like Moutinho, though, the Real Madrid loanee is not the greatest in front of goal, especially compared to Loftus-Cheek and Barkley this season.

He has yet to find the back of the net in 12 Premier League games and has not fared any better in either the Europa League or Carabao Cup.

TT Grade: B-

TT Verdict:

Despite Kovacic’s incapability to find the back of the net, he is still a technically-gifted midfielder who Sarri clearly holds in high regard.

However, compared to Moutinho, other than his cameo against Arsenal, Kovacic has just not been able to influence games in the same way the Wolves man has.

While Moutinho stamps his authority on matches by dictating play with his accurate passing, Kovacic tends to fade in and out of them with only a few successful take-ons to show for his time on the pitch when he is capable of so much more.

Considering all of that, Moutinho wins this battle between Premier League midfielders.

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