Anthony Martial and Roberto Firmino have both come under fire at some point in 2020.
As far as the Manchester United man is concerned, the criticism must feel pretty immediate right now with his high-profile miss during the Paris Saint-Germain defeat seemingly costing his team.
And with just two goals in all competitions this season, there are real doubts surrounding Martial’s capabilities in the number nine position for the Red Devils despite an impressive 2020/21 campaign.
Firmino and Martial criticised
The Frenchman will be feeling the pressure to find the net on a regular basis once again now that Edinson Cavani is breathing down his neck and already boasts more goals in the league.
As for Firmino, the jibes and jokes have started to calm down after a goal against Leicester City that promises to give him a massive confidence boost.
There can be no denying that the Brazil international is fascinatingly unique in what he brings to this Liverpool side, particularly in terms of his link-up play with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Firmino vs Martial debate
However, there’s no getting away from the fact that nine Premier League goals last season isn’t good enough for a Liverpool striker, especially now that he’s facing competition from Diogo Jota.
But anyhow, with all that considered, Martial and Firmino actually have more in common this year than you might expect despite them standing on opposite sides of the north-west battle lines.
It’s a situation that has, in many ways, resuscitated the legitimacy of making comparisons between the two players, which was once a regular social media debate that eventually petered out.
Comparing their Premier League stats
And on the back of a season where Martial almost outscored Firmino by double, it feels like the two players are on more of a level playing field than they were in the days of the Liverpool man dominating.
As a result, we wanted to assess the lay of the land by using the Premier League’s official stats comparison tool to see how Firmino and Martial both shape up after five years in England.
Seeing as the two Premier League poachers have their ambitions in the number nine position, we thought it only made sense to hone in on their attacking stats, so check them out down below:
A victory for Martial
As much as you could argue that Martial has the advantage of having played so many games out wide, you can mitigate that disparity knowing that Firmino isn’t a traditional number nine either.
While, yes, Firmino has more goals than Martial, it’s the United man who has both the superior goal-per-game ratio and minute-per-goal ratio and all from fewer shots and shots on target.
Oh, and that’s not to mention the fact Martial has fewer shots off target, better shooting accuracy, stronger shooting success, more penalties won and more goals scoring with his stronger foot.
I think we can all agree that gives Martial a supreme advantage over Firmino when it comes to lethality in front of goal, even though the Liverpool man admittedly has some statistical wins.
The Anfield hero has notched more headed goals and strikes with his weaker foot as well as having scored more big chances. But who has missed the fewer big chances? Martial again.