Over the last few years, football fans have witnessed a reluctance to field two strikers up front. More and more clubs have started opting for the lone man up front in the trendy 4-2-3-1 formation. Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are example of a few clubs who have consistently preferred a lone striker.
Until recently the general inclination in the Barclays Premier League has been the same. The current Premier League season however has seen a resurgence of striker pairings. Instead of fielding a number nine to plough a lone furrow up front, quite a few top Premier League clubs have been fielding a pair of ‘nine-and-a-halves’
Liverpool, with their much-vaunted pair of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, and Manchester City, with the brilliant Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo, are rivalling Manchester United’s terrific twosome of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Liverpool have made a tremendous start to the Premier League season. While at the start of the season they were scraping one-nil wins, with just Sturridge plowing a lone furrow, the return of Suarez from suspension has led to a brilliant pairing propelling Liverpool to victories in quite a few games.
Manchester City have had a touch of Jekyll and Hyde about them. Magnificent home form has been coupled with tetchy away form. However, their first choice strike pairing of Aguero and Negredo have gelled superbly. The efficacy of the partnership was particularly visible in the 4-1 annihilation of Manchester United and more recently in the games against CSKA Moscow. Negredo was signed at the start of the current season by Manchester City. His partnership with Aguero can only get better with time.
And finally we come to Manchester United’s fearsome strike pair of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney. United have a threadbare midfield. They are still trying to adjust to the transition from Sir Alex Ferguson to David Moyes. However, in Rooney and Van Persie, Manchester United have players who almost provide a guarantee of goals.
Using two strikers alone does not guarantee goals, but the switch to two strikers from one this season could see a more diverse selection of tactics across the Premier League.
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