When eighth-placed Manchester City host seventh-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, there is so much to play for. Both sides are coming off the back of some uninspiring results and, in a bid to kick-start their seasons, they will be going all out for a victory to catapult them back into serious contention at the top of the table.
City have been unbeatable at home but have struggled to string any sort of momentum together due to their dodgy away form. Spurs, meanwhile, have been very stale in front of goal. Only the bottom two clubs in the Premier League, Sunderland and Crystal Palace, have scored fewer goals than the North Londoners in the opening 11 games.
Over the summer, both City and Spurs acquired Spanish strikers. City bought Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla, whilst Spurs purchased Roberto Soldado from Valencia. As they prepare to meet, let’s compare the two Spaniards and see just who has been the more impressive since moving to the Premier League.
Both strikers have managed to find the net on four occasions in the league. Negredo has already forged an impressive partnership with Sergio Aguero, as City have found their goal-scoring touch at the Etihad this season. On the other hand, Soldado has been leading the Spurs attack single-handedly, managing just one goal from open play in the process. Three of Soldado’s goals have come from the penalty spot. He has managed his tally of four goals in 881 minutes of league football compared to the 606 minutes Negredo has played.
Negredo has certainly been the more impressive buy thus far but he has saved his best performance in a City shirt this season for the Champions League. He bagged a hat-trick in the mauling of CSKA Moscow, whilst showing off his terrific understanding with his Aguero at the same time. In total, has scored four goals in four European appearances.
Both strikers are known for coming alive in the penalty area but it seems Negredo has had more quality service from City’s array of midfield creators and his partner in crime, Aguero. Soldado has looked like an isolated figure at times as he has been forced to drop deeper to get into the game as Spurs have attempted to play through opponents at times rather than provide the Spaniard with the service he thrives on from the flanks.
Andros Townsend and Gylfi Sigurdsson have been the regular wide-men for Tottenham this season and both players have regularly chosen to cut inside and shoot rather than cross the ball from the byline. 75% of the chances Sigurdsson has created have come from central areas whilst Townsend’s figure stands at 68.5%. Soldado has had to feed off scraps so far this season, he will be hoping that Spurs can speed up their build up play to give him more chances to add to his goal tally.
As a result of Soldado dropping deeper, he has created 15 chances himself compared to Negredo’s eight but this doesn’t mean much when you consider Spurs’ measly team tally of nine league goals in 11 games.
Negredo’s shot to goal conversion rate (23.5%) also trumps Soldado’s (18.2%) but the Spurs man has managed to hit the target with 55% of his shots compared to his counterparts 47%.
The early season form of the duo can be summed up by the fact that Negredo has managed to nail down a place in the Spain squad whilst Soldado has been dropped from the squad completely. As these two meet on Sunday, all the pressure is on Spurs’ £26million man to find the goal-scoring touch that saw the North Londoners invest so heavily on him in the summer.