By Adam Clark

On the day of Emmanuel Adebayor's arrival at Arsenal in January 2006, Arsène Wenger described him as 'a bit of a Kanu type'.

In comparing his new acquisition to the 6ft 3in Nigerian, the Arsenal manager did so to a player who had scored 44 goals in 198 games under his stewardship, winning two Premiership titles and two FA Cups along the way.

Furthermore, Adebayor later revealed to Arsenal.com that Kanu was the player he had idolised while growing up in Togo.

On Sunday the two will come face to face as Arsenal go in search of a third-place Premiership finish. Adebayor will be the leading man in the absence of Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie; Kanu the rejuvenated figurehead of Harry Redknapp's second Portsmouth revolution.

But according to the statistics, which player has had the better season?

The last time the two sides met back in December, Adebayor netted one of his seven Premiership goals in a 2-2 draw. Although Kanu did not get on the scoresheet that day the ex-Gunner has managed three more league goals than his counterpart, albeit that his last came back in early February.

In fairness to both players their goals have been important. Adebayor's late winner at Old Trafford in September was one of the highlights of the season, while another against Everton kept the young Gunners on track in the Carling Cup.

As for Kanu his haul of eight goals in the opening 12 games sent Portsmouth to the top of the Premiership, a start that has propelled them to their highest ever Premiership finish - indeed, victory on Sunday could yet see them qualify for Europe.

In terms of shooting Adebayor has proven marginally more efficient. The Togolese international has hit the target with exactly half of his 60 shots while Kanu has tested a keeper with 46 per cent of his 72 efforts on goal.

Adebayor has also played 649 minutes fewer than Kanu, which means he has produced an accurate shot 14 minutes more regularly than the Portsmouth man.

Dribbling is another area in which the Arsenal striker has impressed. Kanu has produced an end product on 22 of the 48 occasions he has taken on an opponent but Adebayor has attempted 10 fewer runs and retained possession on an extra two occasions.

Kanu does the lead the way when it comes to distribution however. The former Ajax and Inter Milan forward has been accurate with 63.3 per cent of his 226 attempts to find a team-mate this season. Adebayor has completed 93 of his 153 passes, a success rate of 60.8 per cent.

Comparisons between these two are easy to make. Looking at the statistics, they've had comparably successful seasons too.


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Head to Head Statistics Emmanuel Adebayor Nwankwo Kanu Premiership Appearances 29 35 Minutes on pitch 1987 2636 Attacking Goals 7 10 Shots on target 30 33 Shots off target 21 31 Shots blocked 6 6 Offside 3 2 Supporting Assists 4 4 Passes made 153 226 Passes complete 93 143 Passes incomplete 60 83 Crosses successful 12 14 Crosses unsuccessful 13 20 Total dribbles 38 48 Dribbles successful 24 22 Dribbles unsuccessful 14 26 Defending Tackles made 18 32 Tackles won 12 18 Tackles lost 6 14 Interceptions 4 5 Blocked Shots 2 2 Clearances 13 20 Penalties Conceded 0 0 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 39 68 Yellow Cards 2 3

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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 10 May 2007