Arsenal host Everton in the FA Cup at the weekend, a game in which The Toffees will be keen to spring an upset.
Crucial to their chances of success will be striker Romelu Lukaku, the much-lauded Chelsea loanee who has regained fitness and netted the winner for them at the weekend against West Ham.
Lukaku is a forward who would improve any side, even if Jose Mourinho didn't view him as ready for Chelsea, but opponents Arsenal could certainly do with him.
A Premier League based comparison between the two illustrates that Lukaku scores more goals-per-game than Arsenal's Olivier Giroud Giroud, and lands a far higher percentage of his shots on target. Arguably the two most crucial aspects of a striker's success.
|Player||Team||Pos||Goals / apps||On Target Scoring %||Total Att Assist / apps||Aerial Won / apps||Accurate Flick On / apps||Apps||Mins|
Yet Giroud is not entirely inferior to the Everton man. As the stats above show, Giroud's creativity and aerial ability trump the Belgian.
Each are areas where Lukaku is regarded as being particularly strong, yet Arsenal's recently maligned striker creates more goalscoring opportunities for his teammates.
He also wins more aerial duels by far, and uses these effectively, providing more accurate flick-ons per game. And there lies Giroud's biggest strength and why Arsene Wenger likes him so much.
Giroud is not just a striker but a provider which enables their midfielders to score goals. Both Arsenal's 'best' goals this season, bagged by Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky came from his assists.
While he needs goals against Everton to show he can contribute strongly in the big games in terms of scoring, the above illustrates that he does not always need to in order to be effective.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald