Swansea City and Cardiff City both remain in contention for a Championship play-off spot as the season reaches its conclusion, with the Bluebirds having made particularly strong progress of late.
Neil Harris’ men have climbed to within three points of the play-offs following a run which has seen them avoid defeat in each of their last seven league matches, while the Swans are five points adrift of the top six after their 4-4 draw with Hull.
The Liberty Stadium outfit were sitting at the Championship summit following an excellent start to the campaign, but Steve Cooper’s men have since been much more inconsistent with this seeing them lose serious ground in the promotion race.
This has seen their South Wales rivals overtake them in the quest for a top-six spot in the Championship, with the Bluebirds having collected seven points from their last three games while Swansea have only picked up two points during this period.
Both Welsh clubs have sometimes relied on moments of individual attacking quality to help them see out matches this term, and it would be fair to say that Cardiff’s Lee Tomlin and Swansea’s Andre Ayew have been integral figures this season.
Here, we take a closer look at how the two players compare…
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Ayew has been a firm regular in Cooper’s plans since the early weeks of the campaign and this has seen him play an impressive 2958 minutes of action this term, while Tomlin’s 1933 minutes is a result of his struggle to nail down a spot under Neil Warnock.
However, the former Bristol City man has become Cardiff’s key man since Harris’ arrival at the club in November, and this is partly down to his fine goalscoring ability from his attacking midfield role which has seen him find the net seven times this term.
Swansea have definitely relied more heavily on Ayew to find the net this campaign and this has seen the Ghanaian score 12 goals in all competitions, but the attacker has now only hit the target in one of his last nine Championship outings.
Tomlin and Ayew have also made strong contributions on the assist front with both players having set up their team-mates on six occasions, but the fact Tomlin has 31 shot assists compared to Ayew’s total of 19 suggests the Cardiff man is the more creative figure.
Both men have posted respectable pass completion rates this term with Tomlin having registered a 73.2% figure, while Ayew’s score comes in at 81.8% which suggests the Swansea star has connected slightly better with his team-mates this term.
Ayew has also registered a higher average of progressive runs per game than Tomlin as the Swansea man has averaged a figure of 2.13 whereas Tomlin’s score comes in at 1.44, with this suggesting Ayew is perhaps more direct than Tomlin.
However, it should be remembered that both players operate in different ways for their sides, and while Ayew’s figures may suggest he is more direct in an attacking sense, Tomlin’s quality is perhaps more subtle as he strives to set up his team-mates for attacking bursts.