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Talking Tactics

Eze's dribbling skills can torment Leicester

Adrian Clarke 12 Oct 2022

Adrian Clarke says Crystal Palace attacker is emerging as his side's danger man

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 11.

Eberechi Eze (CRY)

Crystal Palace will be hoping Eze’s fabulous winning goal against Leeds United will be the catalyst for a run of better results.

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The 24-year-old’s clever footwork and rasping drive lit up Selhurst Park in a much-needed 2-1 success, which provided only their second victory of the campaign.

Palace travel to Leicester City on Saturday and the hosts must find a way to curtail the threat of Eze inside the final third.

The Eagles' starting XI contains numerous individuals with flair who like to run with the ball.

Wilfried Zaha has been their star man in this department for many seasons, but in 2022/23, Eze stands out as their most dangerous line-breaker.

Eze's goal v Leeds

Only two Premier League players have completed more dribbles than his average of 2.79 dribbles per 90 minutes.

Most completed dribbles 2022/23
Total Total/90
Success %
Jesus 22 Saint-Maximin 4.06 Eze 66.7%
Tavernier 22 Grealish 3.39 Joelinton 65.4%
Eze 20 Eze 2.79 Cancelo 57.6%
Martinelli 20 Jesus 2.53 Martinelli 57.1%

*Minimum 15 completed dribbles

The former Queens Park Rangers attacking midfielder has outstanding technique and balance with the ball.

As soon as a defender commits to a challenge, Eze's body swerves and fast feet come into play and he is instinctively brilliant at beating his man.

He usually operates in a box-to-box role on the left of a midfield trio.

If Eze starts there for Palace against Leicester, he will regularly test Youri Tielemans in those half-space areas to the left of central midfield.

One of the most impressive aspects of Eze’s dribbling is his success rate.

Waiting for the right moments to travel with the ball, he beats opponent two-thirds of the time whenever he opts for a dribble.

Danger man

In an adventurous starting XI that has contained five attacking players in recent weeks, Eze is the man most likely to unlock the opposition.

His accurate set-pieces have created six chances, while he also has the most key passes for Palace, with 11 in eight appearances.

Eze is a natural winger, so you often see him seamlessly rotate positions with the wide forward on his outside.

This can create confusion for the opposition and if Brendan Rodgers’ side do not track him properly, he could hurt them.

Big chances created/90
Player Total
Kevin De Bruyne 1.45
Erling Haaland 0.72
Pascal Gross 0.60
Jack Harrison 0.57
Eberechi Eze 0.56

*Minimum 500 mins played

Revelling in a slightly deeper role, Eze has made 21 more successful passes into the final third than any team-mate this season.

He has the confidence and quality to stretch rival teams with a positive dribble or forward pass.

The former England Under-21 international has two assists to his name, but could have more.

Eze has laid on four big chances and on a per-90-minute basis, that ranks him fifth in the top flight.

Now that he is fully fit, we are beginning to see more and more glimpses of his incredible talent.

Also in this series

Part 2: Brentford defence must go back to basics
Part 3: Coady and Tarkowski transforming Everton backline
Part 4: Foden can strike right at heart of Liverpool weakness

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