Arsenal travel to South London on Sunday in order to take on Crystal Palace in an expected feisty encounter which will see strikers Oliver Giroud and Glenn Murray go head to head.
The latter has become somewhat of an unsung hero at Palace after previously losing his way under former manager Neil Warnock and being shipped out on loan to Championship side Reading.
Following Alan Pardew’s arrival as new boss, the English striker was brought back to Selhurst Park and played a key role in helping the club climb away from the relegation zone.
While Murray was reaffirming his reputation as a wonderful target man, Giroud was also in top form for the Gunners as he experienced an excellent start to 2015.
|Goals per Game||Assists per Game||Shots per Game||Key Passes per Game||Aerial Winners per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Appearances|
But which of the two strikers performed better? Well, as per the table by Opta Stats, since the turn of the New Year Gunners striker Giroud has outshone his opponent in as many as six key areas.
The France international has recorded more goals and has averaged more shots, key passes, aerial duel winners, accurate passes and ball recoveries per Premier League fixture.
The only area in which he is toppled by Murray is the average number of assists, with the Eagles benefitting greatly from the striker’s presence and solid link-up play.
On Sunday, it will be interesting to see how both men line up for their respective sides and how they intend on providing for the game’s expected flair players such as Mesut Ozil and Yannick Bolasie.
The Premier League has a real dearth of genuine target men, but as proven by the table above, both Giroud and Murray have demonstrated why their styles still have a place at the very top level.