Stats: QPR & Southampton strikers set to lock horns. Who offers more?

Loftus Road

Charlie Austin and Graziano Pelle will be on opposing sides on Saturday when Queens Park Rangers host Southampton, who offers more as a striker?

Two of the Premier League’s most impressive frontmen in the 2014/15 campaign will lock horns on Saturday when Queens Park Rangers entertain Southampton.

The Loftus Road encounter will be best noted for the fact it will see QPR take to the field for the first time since Harry Redknapp quit his managerial post.

Les Ferdinand will be in caretaker charge of the hosts, with a coaching rookie pitting his wits against a serious contender for this season’s top coaching prizes in the form of Saints boss Ronald Koeman.

While much of the focus will be on events off the field, there will be plenty to keep those in attendance entertained on it.

Charlie Austin has almost single-handedly kept QPR within touching distance of top-flight safety, while Graziano Pelle has played an instrumental role in Southampton’s top-four challenge.

It is difficult to compare the two directly, as they are different breeds of frontman, but what do they offer to their respective causes?

  PositionTeamGoalsOntarget Scoring AttDuel WonAerial WonWas FouledAccurate PassBall RecoveryTotal Att AssistAppearancesMins Played
Charlie Austin FW QPR 13 34 94 60 20 287 43 13 21 1,824
Graziano Pellè FW Southampton 8 22 140 111 20 501 60 25 23 2,042

Judging by the Opta statistics above, and by his showings over the last few seasons, Austin is more of an out-and-out goalscorer.

He is a nuisance to top-flight defences with his movement, which sees him draw plenty of fouls, and offers more of a threat as he gets more efforts away on target – which in turn leads to more goals.

Pelle, though, could be considered more of an all-round forward.

He is a couple of inches taller than Austin, which makes him better in the air and more of a physical presence.

Southampton’s success this season, and their ball-playing philosophy, helps to explain why Pelle puts more passes in, but it is intriguing to find – given how hard his QPR counterpart works – that the Italy international has also proved adept at regaining possession once it has been lost.

  TeamGoal AssistTotal Att AssistFwd PassTouchesDispossessedTotal Sub OffAppearancesMins Played
Charlie Austin QPR 2 13 114 735 34 2 21 1,824
Graziano Pellè Southampton 2 25 217 1,063 54 2 23 2,042

It has to be noted from the table above that Pelle does give the ball away more than Austin, which will force him to work harder in getting it back, but again he dominates in other important areas in the final third.

He has sought to provide of opportunities for others and would appear to drop deep with greater regularity, allowing him to turn and get Southampton on the front foot with forward passes.

Both men are strikers, though, and will be judged on their end product in the final third.

Austin has more goals and the same number of assists despite playing 218 fewer minutes than Pelle, so could argue that he makes the greater impact. It is, however, almost impossible to choose between the two.

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