Derby County will face Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final next week, with Premier League football now within touching distance for both sides.
The latter defeated local rivals West Bromwich Albion on penalties to book their place at Wembley, with Derby County joining them in the capital after completing a majestic turnaround against Leeds in midweek.
Now, Dean Smith’s men and Frank Lampard’s side will battle it out for a place in the grandest stage of English football, with Villa looking to go one step further than their play-off heartbreak last term.
It is likely to be a cagey, scrappy affair between the two sides. Both teams possess real quality going forward, therefore each defence will need to be at the best of their game, in what is shaping up to be a tremendous battle.
Here, we compare two defenders who have been standout performers for their respective clubs this season, in Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Derby’s Fikayo Tomori.
The duo will be pivotal for their teams on Monday afternoon, and here, we take a look at who edges it in this particular battle…
Villa’s defence looks completely different to that of under Steve Bruce, where James Chester and Mile Jedinak were regulars under the current Sheffield Wednesday boss.
Mings’ arrival on loan from AFC Bournemouth seems to have galvanised the West Midlands side, and in 17 games, he has scored two goals for Dean Smith’s men.
They may both be central defenders, but Mings often likes to sit back and sweep, whilst Tomori likes to chase down attackers and make tackles, winning 2.2 per game compared to Mings’ 0.9 per game.
Going forward, the pair are very similar, with both players having high pass success rates for defenders – Mings with 78.9%, and Tomori with 82.7%.
But defensively, Mings’ aerial presence means that he wins a lot of aerial duels, 3.1 per game to be exact, compared to Tomori’s 2.8 per game, as well as making 4.5 clearances per game compared to Tomori’s 3.9.
Both players will be crucial for their teams this weekend, as they look to secure promotion to the top-flight.