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Europa Conference League stats dive: Alternative stars of the group stage

Who made the most saves, crosses, clearances, ball recoveries and completed passes in the group stage?

AZ's Bruno Martins Indi, Vitesse's Maximilian Wittek and Bodø/Glimt's Marius Lode
AZ's Bruno Martins Indi, Vitesse's Maximilian Wittek and Bodø/Glimt's Marius Lode Getty Images

UEFA.com has a treasure trove of statistics covering many aspects of play to enhance the UEFA Europa Conference League, Europe's newest club competition.

In this piece, presented by Swissquote, we sift through the group stage data to see who earned top billing across a number of match-defining metrics.

Check out the Conference League stats

Most passes completed

Highlights: AZ Alkmaar 2-0 CFR Cluj
Highlights: AZ Alkmaar 2-0 CFR Cluj

494: Bruno Martins Indi (AZ)
441: Jordy Clasie (AZ)
396: Luis Hernandez (Maccabi Tel-Aviv)
392: Marius Lode (Bodø/Glimt)
369: Kevin Medina (Qarabağ)

Four of the top ten passers in the competition were AZ players yet Martins Indi was on a higher plain than his team-mates, also attempting the most passes (527) and obtaining the highest accuracy (94%) of anyone else in that sub-group. Qarabağ and Bodø/Glimt also had two players in that top ten, with Lode and Medina both making the matchweek shortlist twice this term. However, the pair just fell short of Luis Hernandez, mainly thanks to his back-to-back top three outings against HJK.

Crosses completed

Highlights: Mura 0-2 Vitesse
Highlights: Mura 0-2 Vitesse

31: Maximilian Wittek (Vitesse)
23: Jan Krob (Jablonec)
19: Pep Biel (Copenhagen)
18: Graham Carey (CSKA-Sofia)
16: Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin)

Wittek's position at the head of this category was never in doubt after he racked up ten successful deliveries on Matchday 1 but the Vitesse man rubber-stamped it by topping the ratings in his final two outings to boot. The effectiveness of Wittek and Krob was undoubtedly enhanced by having a similar threat on the opposite flank – Vitesse and Jablonec being the only sides to have two players in the top ten as a result.

Balls recovered

Highlights: Jablonec 1-0 CFR Cluj
Highlights: Jablonec 1-0 CFR Cluj

61: Jaroslav Zelený (Jablonec)
51: Maksim Medvedev (Qarabağ)
47: Michael Ngadeu-Ngadju (Union Berlin)
45: Andrei Burcă (CFR Cluj)

The importance of Czech Republic defender Zelený to Jablonec's campaign was clear to see as he played every minute of the group stage (and their two qualifiers), topping this category on Matchday 2 and matching his 15 recoveries from that game in their concluding one. Qarabağ were the only team with two players in the top ten, with Medvedev ably supported by the previously mentioned Medina.

Clearances

Highlights: Randers 2-1 CFR Cluj
Highlights: Randers 2-1 CFR Cluj

41: Simon Piesinger (Randers)
37: Märten Kuusk (Flora)
37: Miro Tenho (HJK)
35: Ádám Lang (Omonoia)
34: Rade Dugalić (Kairat)

This proved to be one of the closest-fought categories with all five players on this list making just one appearance on a matchweek leaderboard across the six weeks and none securing top spot. Piesinger's importance as Randers finished second in their group cannot be understated, though, as he played every minute and chipped in with two goals from defence. Kairat were the only side to have two players in the overall top ten.

Most saves

Highlights: Flora 1-0 Partizan
Highlights: Flora 1-0 Partizan

26: Matvei Ignonen (Flora)
24: Dmytro Matsapura (Zorya)
22: Matko Obradović (Mura)
22: Patrik Carlgren (Randers)
21: Heinz Lindner (Basel)
21: Aleksandar Popović (Partizan)

Ignonen, Matsapura and Obradović all hit the ground running in the competition and claimed a matchweek pole position in their opening two games while Carlgren achieved the feat twice during the entire group stage. The last three names may have fallen short in this category but can console themselves by knowing their efforts clinched a top-two finish for their clubs.

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