By Adam Clark

A frank assessment of Newcastle's season would not make kind reading. Glenn Roeder's side travel to Emirates Stadium on Saturday a bottom-three side who've mustered just seven goals in 12 games.

The £10million signing of Nigerian pocket-rocket Obafemi Martins was supposed to bring goals in the absence of the crocked Michael Owen and departed Alan Shearer.

Unfortunately, the man who hit 37 goals in 111 games for Inter Milan has yet to adapt to Premiership life and one goal in a 2-0 win at West Ham is all he has to his name.

Having missed Newcastle's last five games the diminutive striker will be hoping to kick-start his season with an Emirates goal glut this weekend. Arsenal's firepower, on the other hand, could come from a man of somewhat different proportions. Beanpole poacher Emmanuel Adebayor is also easing his way back in after injury but has already won the hearts of Gunners fans this season with a late winner at Old Trafford.

Both players will be hoping to set Saturday's clash alight but who's more likely to do so according to the statistics?

Well, the Newcastle new boy has certainly not been shot shy. In 617 minutes of Premiership football this season the 22-year-old has managed 35 efforts on goal. Unfortunately only eight have found the target but in addition he's seen one strike rebound off the woodwork and another four blocked.

In comparison Adebayor has been far more efficient, if less fruitful. Of the 11 efforts produced by the Togo international seven have tested the keeper and two have needed a block.

Both players have proved equally competent distributors - each finding their intended target with 64 per cent of their attempted passes. They have also provided three crosses each for their respective sides, only to see team-mates fail to capitalise. Martins has had double the number of attempts however, with eight.

One of two areas in which Martins has earned his corn this season is dribbling - an understandable application of his size, pace, and power. He has made 22 dribbles, 10 more than Adebayor, and although he has produced an end product with fewer than half of his runs his enthusiasm to take players on will encourage Magpies fans.

His other notable contribution has surprisingly come when tracking back. The Nigerian has made 18 tackles - the same as defender Peter Ramage, and twice as many as defence-minded midfielder Nicky Butt. In fairness he has only emerged with the ball on seven occasions but the fact he's received no bookings and committed just one more foul than our man suggests his challenges are frank, if not flawless.

So there you have it. Martins has had a stuttering start to life at Newcastle but he can't be faulted for his endeavour. Floods of shots, a willingness to drop back and a determination to take players on suggest his luck is destined to change. Adebayor has been bright-eyed when given his chance, contributing to the cause and hitting heart-warming winners in Manchester and at Everton in the Carling Cup.

Sunday's headline writers may not anticipate back-page news from these two but don't be surprised if they have a significant input on Saturday afternoon.


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Head to Head Statistics Emmanuel Adebayor Obafemi Martins Premiership Appearances 9 9 Minutes on pitch 400 617 Attacking Goals 2 1 Shots on target 7 8 Shots off target 2 15 Shots blocked 2 4 Offside 8 7 Supporting Assists 0 1 Passes made 36 45 Passes complete 23 29 Passes incomplete 13 16 Crosses successful 0 0 Crosses unsuccessful 3 3 Total dribbles 10 22 Dribbles successful 6 10 Dribbles unsuccessful 4 12 Defending Tackles made 3 18 Tackles won 2 7 Tackles lost 1 11 Interceptions 1 1 Blocked Shots 1 1 Clearances 1 5 Penalties Conceded 0 0 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 8 9 Yellow Cards 0 0 Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 16 Nov 2006