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Marcus Rashford.

Marcus Rashford vs Kelechi Iheanacho: head-to-head analysis of Manchester's starlets

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Ahead of what might be the Premier League's biggest ever Manchester derby, focus is firmly on Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola's feud and Marcus Rashford.

The latter makes for a particularly interesting topic following the 18-year-old's remarkable rise to stardom at Manchester United.

Indeed, having scored the winning goal against Hull City recently and a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory over Norway for England U21s, Rashford has sent a clear message to Jose Mourinho that he deserves to start on Saturday.

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Manchester City have their own talented youngster, of course, in Kelechi Iheanacho, who performed so admirably when called upon by Manuel Pellegrini last term.

Whether the pair feature at Old Trafford remains to be seen but what's certain is they both have exciting futures ahead of them in Manchester. 

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And so, using last season's statistics - they've barely played this time around - here's a head-to-head analysis of the teenage sensations.

NB. Rashford made 11 appearances and played 855 minutes for United, whereas Iheanacho played 799 minutes across 26 games for City.

GOALS

It's advantage Iheanacho in the goalscoring department - but only where finding the back of the net is concerned.

FBL-ENG-PR-HULL-MAN UTD

The Nigerian might have scored eight goals last season, but his conversion rate (29% from 28 shots) and shooting accuracy (57%) are inferior to Rashford, who scored five times, converted 31% of his 16 shots and found the target 89% of the time.

Iheanacho might have scored more, but Rashford is arguably the more clinical of the two.

PASSING

Where pass completion is concerned, it's all evens - literally.

Of the 199 passes Rashford attempted during the 2015/16 season, 153 found their man (77%), whilst Iheanacho completed 266 of his 346 attempted passes (also 77%).

FBL-ENG-PR-HULL-MAN UTD

It's a different story where key passes are concerned, though, with Iheanacho playing 13 dangerous balls compared to Rashford's four.

The England international did record more assists (2) than his Nigerian counterpart (1).

DRIBBLING

What Rashford and Iheanacho do have in common is their willingness to beat opponents using their blistering pace and skill.

However, it's the latter striker that achieved greater success in one-on-one situations, having completed 72% take-ons last season.

Stoke City v Manchester City - Premier League

Rashford, on the other hand, completed just nine take-ons, with a 26% success rate.

But before we jump to conclusions and say that Iheanacho is the superior dribbler of the ball, it's worth bearing in mind that Rashford clearly attempts to beat his man a lot more often; an inferior success rate is perhaps to be expected.

VERDICT

So, where do we go from here?

It really is too close to call - perhaps there isn't actually a winner - but Iheanacho just about edges the head-to-head because of his eight goals and creativity.

Manchester City v Steaua Bucharest - UEFA Champions League

United fans will argue that the 19-year-old played more games than Rashford, but the vast majority of those appearances came from the bench with minutes to spare - he was rarely given much time to make an impact.

But the past is the past, and it's now up to these exciting teenagers to build upon their impressive seasons and establish themselves as important members of their respective squads.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA Champions League
Kelechi Iheanacho
Football
Premier League
Marcus Rashford
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero

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