Birmingham City have endured a mixed start to the season since Pep Clotet took over as manager over the summer, with the Blues currently sitting 11th in the table after eight matches.
They secured an impressive 1-0 away win over Brentford on the opening day of the campaign, but they have since lost three matches which means they have collected a total of 13 points at this early stage.
Defender Kristian Pedersen has featured in every match for Clotet’s side so far this term, with former Denmark U21 international filling in at both centre-back and left-back since early August.
The 25-year-old has established himself as a regular in the Blues’ starting line-up since arriving at the club from Union Berlin last summer, and it now appears as though Clotet views him as an indispensable player within his side’s defensive set-up.
So, is Pedersen a key cog in the Blues side? We take a closer look at the stats…
Pedersen has played 847 minutes of action if you include Blues’ final friendly match against Brighton, which means he has not missed a minute for Clotet’s side as he has continued to cement his place at the heart of defence. The former Union Berlin is not exactly known for his goalscoring exploits, but he has also managed to get on the score sheet this season by heading home against Brentford on the opening day. This moment demonstrated the aerial attacking threat that Pedersen can also give his side, with this being just his second goal since arriving at St Andrew’s last summer.
The defender has also shown this aerial prowess across the pitch so far this season as he has won 62.1% of his aerial duels. This indicates the advantage Pedersen can provide for his side when the ball is in the air, as he can use his 6ft 2in height effectively to claim the ball for his side. This strength is particularly important for Clotet’s side as they have not always excelled in keeping hold of the ball this season, so aerial ability such as Pedersen’s is pivotal when trying to retrieve the ball. He has also benefitted Birmingham in a similar way with his interception rate, as the fact he has made 4.89 per game so far this term reflects how he also reads the game well.
Pedersen’s passing ability is not quite as strong as recorded a 74.9% passing accuracy this season, but this is also not an awful statistic as Birmingham have largely attempted to hit their opponents on the counter-attack so have not seen a great deal of consistent ball possession. Nevertheless, this is a statistic that Pedersen will be hoping to improve in the coming weeks as Clotet’s side perhaps become more comfortable with each other and attempt to get the ball down more often.
The final statistic shows that the Dane has won 55.7% of his duels so far this team, which is another solid statistic that represents the strength he brings to the side when competing for the ball. Overall, the stats reflect that Pedersen has once again been an important player for the Birmingham side under Clotet, with the defender’s defensive interventions having been particularly important in getting the Blues out of trouble during the first eight league matches.