By Josh Powell | Sports writer
Robin Van Persie and Luis Suarez are the two deadliest hitmen in the Premier League this year and have been scoring more than an over-worked hooker. With 31 between them they’ve got more goals than 11 Premier League teams this season including West Brom, Newcastle and Norwich.
The two strikers have been leading the line for their clubs and without their goals both Manchester United and Liverpool would be significantly worse off. Not quite to the standards of Newcastle and Villa, but still considerably worse off.
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool would have seven points less if you chalk off all of Suarez’s goals and United would drop from top of the league to seventh, with RVP’s strikes gaining them 19 points so far this season. Incredibly even without Van Persie’s goals, United would still be two points clear of their rivals on Merseyside.
Robin Van Persie leads the way on goals per minute, finding the net every 104 minutes this season, but Suarez isn’t far behind striking every hour-and-a-half. The Uruguayan has more self-confidence than Samantha Brick and is more likely to have a go at goal with 123 shots in 20 games compared to Van Persie’s more conservative 74 attempts in 21 games.
But the Dutchman is as accurate as Robin Hood on performance-enhancing drugs and has found the target 43 per cent of the time, scoring with almost a quarter of all his shots on goal.
This weekend the two men clash at Old Trafford as Manchester United host their fierce rivals at 1.30pm on Sunday afternoon.
United’s good form and their home advantage makes them the odds-on favourites and Robin Van Persie tops the first goalscorer market at 4/1. The Dutchman is 17/10 to score first for United and is a red-hot 8/13 to score at anytime in the match.
Luis Suarez found the net at Old Trafford last season and has five goals in his last three games. He is 6/1 to open the scoring on Sunday and 6/4 to find the onion bag at anytime. So far this season Suarez is the first man to score for Liverpool a third of the time and he is 11/4 to score for his team first at the Theatre of Dreams.
With both players finding the net as regularly as Mario Balotelli finds controversy it would be no surprise if they were both on target in the game. It’s 5/1 that both men get their names on the scoresheet on Sunday.
Sunday’s game is massive but it is just one more battle in the raging war to be crowned the Premier League’s top goalscorer. RVP is the well-supported 13/10 favourite but Suarez is only one goal behind him and has a game in hand. If the Liverpool number seven can keep his strike rate up, he could be the value bet at 5/2.