West Ham United take on Mark Hughes’ Stoke City this weekend in an intriguing Premier League clash between two teams looking to establish themselves in the upper echelons of the table.
The Hammers have been blighted by injuries this season and head into the fixture missing a number of key players, with star defender Winston Reid the latest to be ruled out of action.
Stoke started the season slowly, yet big improvements over the past two months have seen them surge up the table, with star players Bojan Krkic and Xherdan Shaqiri really coming to life.
The latter, a summer signing from Inter Milan, has been nothing short of sensation in recent weeks. But how does West Ham’s Mauro Zarate compare over the course of the campaign?
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Well, as per the table provided by Opta Stats, the attacking duo post similar results in a number of key areas, yet Stoke’s Swiss international ultimately comes out on top.
The Britannia Stadium favourite is really living up to his billing of late, providing three assists and averaging 1.83 key passes and 1.83 successful take-ons per Premier League match.
Moreover, the playmaker seemingly betters his upcoming opponent in terms of quality on the ball, averaging more touches, accurate passes and recoveries per match.
Zarate is among West Ham’s leading figures at present, due to the club’s injury crisis, and boss Slaven Bilic will be looking at him to provide the spark for his side in the final third.
The Argentine ace has already found the net three times this season, and Stoke must be wary not to give away any soft free-kicks in dangerous areas, as Zarate’s quality is evident.