Assombalonga has enjoyed a miraculous start to his career at the City Ground, scoring eight goals in nine games following his arrival for a club record fee.
The forward has contributed to just under half of the 17 goals Forest have scored this season, and it has been his feats that see the club remain unbeaten heading into October.
Life has been less positive at the DW Stadium this season, following Wigan’s inability to secure an immediate return to the Premier League last campaign - losing in the Play-Off semi-finals to eventual champions QPR.
Goals have been hard to come by for the club currently sitting in 18th place, with just 10 strikes leaving the club with just two victories. However, the performances of Callum McManaman have been a shining light for the Latics, with his tally of four goals in eight games already surpassing his goal return from the last two seasons.
With Martyn Waghorn the only other forward to have netted more than once this season, McManaman has featured heavily in a central role this season, taking the goalscoring load off a number of misfiring strikers, and, despite missing Saturday’s loss to Bournemouth, the 23-year-old should be fit to return for Tuesday night’s fixture.
He will come face-to-face with Assombalonga, with the duo leading the lines for their respective teams, as Forest look to reclaim the top spot and Wigan look for a first win in five games.
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What is striking when seeing their respective performances this season, is that McManaman is actually the better performer of the two - aside from in one key category.
Assombalonga has netted eight times this season, whereas his Latics counterpart has just four, although in roughly 250 minutes less action. This doesn’t prevent the Forest man from scoring a goal with more consistency than McManaman - netting every 101 minutes - but he is actually more wasteful, recording, and missing, more shots.
McManaman is unfortunate that he is playing in a team unable to find their shooting boots at the moment, as he is easily the more creative of the two, playing eight key passes - but yet to register an assist.
The FA Cup winner also completes dribbles at an impressively fast rate, whilst, on average, he touches the ball five more times than Assombalonga.
Unlike Assombalonga, who is an out-and-out striker, McManaman’s importance to the Wigan team means he is often found out of position, trying to control play from wherever the ball is. This ultimately means his goal tally is lower than it should be, because he receives less chances to add to his account. However, if the Latics want to claim a victory at the DW Stadium on Tuesday, head coach Uwe Rosler would be wise to use his star man as a pure poacher - making him the main goalscoring outpost of the faltering side.