Stats: Luis Suarez v Olivier Giroud - Does the Arsenal man come out on top anywhere?

Giroud Celebrates

How do the Liverpool and Arsenal stars strikers stack up ahead of their game at the weekend?

Arsenal tried to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool in the summer, and for obvious reasons the Reds rebuffed their advances.

That has paid off, with Suarez the current Premier League top scorer, firing Liverpool into the top four. However the club that tried to sign him presently sit first, heading into their game at the weekend.

Many see their season and forward line as 'making do' with Giroud, a good but not world class centre-forward, with a striker of Suarez' calibre sought after next summer.

How much so is this the case, and are there any areas the Arsenal striker can consider himself superior? We took a look at the statistics relating to the two players season so far to see how close or far apart the two are...

Goalscoring and shot accuracy

PlayerTeamGoalsShots per game% of Shots on targetGoals from outside the boxAppsMins
Luis Suarez Liverpool 23 5.42 50.49 7 19 1,708
Olivier Giroud Arsenal 10 3.23 30.99 0 22 1,914

Despite playing four less games, Luis Suarez has scored more than double the amount of Premier League goals Olivier Giroud has so far. In many ways that is almost the only figure you need to know, but there is far more to it than that. Suarez attempts more shots per game, and crucially, almost 20 per cent more of his efforts are on target compared to the wayward Giroud. Astoundingly, seven of Suarez' 23 strikes are from outside the box, while Giroud does not figure in that department.

Dribbling and fouls won

PlayerTeamDribblesFouls WonPenalties WonAppsMins
Luis Suarez Liverpool 55 37 2 19 1,708
Olivier Giroud Arsenal 15 31 0 22 1,914

Another key part of Suarez' game, is his dribbling ability, with the Uruguayan providing a different dimension to Giroud. He has won more fouls and more penalties, although Giroud's physical presence often leads to defenders fouling him aerially in an attempt to get the better of him.

Heading and hold-up play

PlayerTeamHeaded GoalsAerial  Duels WonAccurate Flick OnAccurate LayoffsAppsMins
Luis Suarez Liverpool 3 14 16 83 19 1,708
Olivier Giroud Arsenal 2 93 38 133 22 1,914

Giroud, as you might imagine, dominates Suarez in terms of winning headers, a key aspect of his game. Yet perhaps the most shocking statistic is that Suarez has still scored more headed goals than Giroud, three, despite winning just 14 aerial duels, while Giroud has two from 93. Giroud's flick on's and lay-offs also illustrate a facet to his game which Suarez does not compare favourably to, often preferring to dribble the ball instead rather than lay it off.

Passing

NameTeamKey passesPass completion %Penalty Area EntriesAssistsAppsMins
Luis Suarez Liverpool 54 76.23 62 7 19 1,708
Olivier Giroud Arsenal 25 68.16 35 6 22 1,914

Further evidence of Suarez' superiority, the Liverpool man has made double the amount of key passes compared to Giroud. He does though only have one more assists, perhaps showing the wastefulness of his teammates compared to Arsenal's squad, which has been praised for the way the goals are spread around the squad. A far higher number of Suarez' passes enter the box, but this perhaps is down to him liking to drop deep and playing with Daniel Sturridge, while Giroud usually leads the line alone and is the player receiving the final ball.

Giroud and Suarez are two players differing in style, but whose production does not compare. The Liverpool man has been breathtaking this season, while Giroud can be described as adequate.

Perhaps that's a slight on Giroud, but it's simply how the incredible goalscoring return makes him look when considering Arsenal are a side battling for the title. He has done enough to get them this far, a lack of a world class goalscorer could be to their detriment down the stretch, we shall begin to see this weekend.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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