By Adam Clark
Cast your mind back to August and transfer deadline day and you may remember a slight fuss over goings-on at Upton Park.
West Ham United had struck a double deal which many believed would make them genuine contenders for a Champions League place. Argentina's World Cup duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano would spend the season wearing the claret and blue.
Things don't always turn out as expected though. Just six minutes of action between October and January saw Mascherano switch his Hammers shirt for the red of Liverpool, while Tevez only found his first goal for the club three matches ago - after 19 previous attempts.
Since then however the stocky striker has netted in three successive games and began to galvanise what was a sinking ship into one which has West Ham's fellow relegation strugglers glancing over nervous shoulders.
Returning to transfer deadline day, Arsenal were also rushing through transfers of their own. William Gallas and Denilson signed permanently while Brazilian striker Julio Baptista joined on loan from Real Madrid. After a mixed start he too has showcased his talents since putting four past Liverpool at the turn of the year.
On Saturday, 'The Beast' and 'The Bull' will lock horns at Emirates Stadium. But what do the statistics tell us about how the two have performed this season?
Well, as their respective nicknames (Tevez earned his in his homeland whereas Baptistia's was the invention of the Spanish press) suggest neither are short on power, and both have used that to run at their opponents. Tevez has done so more often, but has been dispossessed attempting 18 of his 33 dribbles. Our man on the other hand has been far more productive, finding a team-mate following 10 of his 15 forays forward.
When it comes to finding the net it was again Baptista who found his feet first. The burly Brazilian has eight goals in all competitions of which one - in last month's 2-1 win over Reading - came in the Premiership. Yet despite Tevez not notching until the 4-3 defeat to Tottenham last month the Argentine's purple patch has given him two more league goals than his counterpart. The pair have also provided two assists apiece for their respective teams.
Furthermore, the stats suggest they may have netted more often. Baptista has produced 27 shots so far of which 12 have been on their way to goal. Of those three have been blocked en route, eight have been saved and the one against Reading crept in. Tevez on the other hand has managed 20 shots on target and 20 off, had seven blocked and hammered the woodwork on two occasions.
Finally, they have performed with similar efficiency when it comes to distribution. A hamstring injury left Baptista on the sidelines earlier in the season and as a result he has played just 743 minutes, 355 fewer than his fellow South American. This is important when you consider Baptista has been accurate with 64 per cent of his passes at a rate of one every 13 minutes. Because, in comparison, Tevez has enjoyed success with 67 per cent of his passes but only at a rate of one every 16 minutes.
Saturday's game may go some way to deciding where both sides will be playing their football next season. Arsenal need to cement that top four spot while time is running out on West Ham's battle against the drop. The Emirates faithful have shown confidence in Baptista while Tevez, despite his troubles, is undoubtedly a fans' favourite too.
This weekend they'll have a chance to prove their worth again. The battling qualities of 'The Beast' and 'The Bull' are needed more now than ever.
View Julio Baptista's player profile
Head to Head Statistics Julio Baptista Carlos Tevez Premiership Appearances 16 19 Minutes on pitch 743 1098 Attacking Goals 1 3 Shots on target 9 20 Shots off target 15 20 Shots blocked 3 7 Offside 1 12 Supporting Assists 2 2 Passes made 92 103 Passes complete 59 69 Passes incomplete 33 34 Crosses successful 2 2 Crosses unsuccessful 0 19 Total dribbles 15 33 Dribbles successful 10 15 Dribbles unsuccessful 5 18 Defending Tackles made 7 24 Tackles won 3 13 Tackles lost 4 11 Interceptions 2 2 Blocked Shots 0 0 Clearances 5 3 Penalties Conceded 0 0 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 13 15 Yellow Cards 0 2
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