Benteke vs Pelle: Which of the Villa and Southampton strikers has performed better?

Aston Villa travel to Southampton this weekend for the penultimate game of the season.

Southampton host Aston Villa this weekend in an encounter that will see two of the Premier League’s finest target men go head-to-head in Graziano Pelle and Christian Benteke.

The Saints have experienced a wonderful campaign under boss Ronald Koeman, whereas Villa are looking to finish the season on a high after making positive progress under the guidance of Tim Sherwood.

Both teams have plenty of reasons to target victory, and goals could be aplenty if the strikers receive enough service in front of goal.

The Saints’ Graziano Pelle has netted 11 goals in his debut Premier League campaign, while Benteke’s fabulous form under Sherwood has seen his tally rapidly rise to 12 over the past eight weeks.

  GoalsAssistsShots per GameKey Passes per GameAerial Winners per GameTouches per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearances
Christian Benteke 12 2 2.74 1.15 6.48 45.89 1.56 27
Graziano Pellè 11 2 3.17 1.08 4.64 44.08 2.22 36

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, it’s tough separating the duo pre-match as both come out in top in different key aspects of their game,

Villa’s leading scorer Benteke re-wrote the Premier League record books last weekend, becoming Belgium’s top scorer in English top-flight history with his double over Everton.

Yet, aside from his goals he contributes greatly in other areas. He averages 1.15 key passes per game and an impressive 6.48 aerial duel winners – a key attribute when his side are under pressure.

Pelle isn’t quite as dominant in the air as his upcoming opponent, but the Saints man averages more shots and ball recoveries per encounter – illustrating his willingness to work hard for the team.

The statistics based on the previous 36 games of the season are unlikely to have a telling effect on this weekend’s encounter, but both managers will be well aware of their qualities in the final third.

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