By Adam Clark
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce has built up quite a reputation for resurrecting careers. El-Hadji Diouf is a case in point.
The Senegal striker seldom lived up to high expectations following some eye-catching displays at the 2002 World Cup and a £10 million move to Gerard Houllier's Liverpool.
An unsavoury spitting incident involving a Celtic fan in March 2003 hardly endeared him to the masses and just six goals in over 70 appearances for the Reds added to the feeling he had failed to live up to his price tag.
Yet Diouf seems to have been reborn at the Reebok and Bolton fans will be hoping he can make the difference when they travel to Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Arsenal supporters will be looking to their own African goal getter. Emmanuel Adebayor has become a fans' favourite with his performances this season and, with Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie sidelined for the remainder of the campaign, the beanpole Togo international is needed more now than ever.
We examined the latest Premiership statistics to see how the two forwards have performed throughout the 2006/07 campaign.
Adebayor is currently leading the way when it comes to finding the net. The Arsenal man has five goals in the Premiership and 10 in all competitions. Diouf on the other hand has four strikes to his name, all of which have come in the league.
The Togo international has found the target with 64.9 per cent of his 44 attempts on goal. In comparison, Diouf has made just one less attempt and has tested an opposition keeper with 63 per cent of his shots. However, Adebayor has been restricted to 1537 minutes of Premiership football this term - 1077 minutes less than his counterpart - but has a better minutes-per-goal ratio than Diouf.
In fairness Diouf does tend to play deeper in behind Nicolas Anelka and Kevin Davies and the statistics reflect that. The Senegal star has provided assists on six occasions this term, four more than Adebayor.
Furthermore the Bolton man has produced an incredible 91 crosses for his team-mates. Predictably, Adebayor has made far fewer, just 15.
One area in which they have performed equally well though is dribbling. Adebayor has produced an end product following 59 per cent of his 29 runs, adding up to one successful foray forward per match. Diouf has retained possession during only 55 per cent of his runs but has taken on the opposition far more often. His 65 attempts equate to one successful dribble every 73 minutes.
So there you have it. If the statistics are anything to go by Adebayor is the man mostly likely to find the scoresheet on Saturday. Diouf though will be happily providing for strike partners Davies and Anelka. Either way both players will have an important role in what is arguably the biggest game of the season for both sides.
View Emmanuel Adebayor's player profile
Head to Head Statistics Emmanuel Adebayor El-Hadji Diouf Premiership Appearances 24 31 Minutes on pitch 1537 2614 Attacking Goals 5 4 Shots on target 23 27 Shots off target 15 8 Shots blocked 4 7 Offside 31 25 Supporting Assists 2 6 Passes made 111 222 Passes complete 72 133 Passes incomplete 39 89 Crosses successful 3 9 Crosses unsuccessful 12 82 Total dribbles 29 65 Dribbles successful 17 36 Dribbles unsuccessful 12 29 Defending Tackles made 14 44 Tackles won 9 21 Tackles lost 5 23 Interceptions 4 8 Blocked Shots 2 2 Clearances 10 14 Penalties Conceded 0 0 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 31 35 Yellow Cards 1 8
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