Newcastle forward Andy Carroll has staked his claim to lead the line when his side face West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Magpies are set to be without attacking trio Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin when they face the Baggies, leaving Carroll as a prime candidate to spearhead the attack for Steve Bruce’s side.
Should Carroll start for Newcastle, West Brom could consider his inclusion to be to their advantage.
According to stats gathered by WyScout, Carroll is Newcastle’s least prolific forward this season, scoring less goals per 90 minutes [0.21] than both Wilson [0.46] and former Albion loanee Dwight Gayle [0.42].
Carroll also pales in comparison to his Newcastle teammates regarding his shot percentage on target, with only 22.2% finding their mark, compared to superior figures posted by both Wilson [41%] and Gayle [40%].
Carroll’s strengths, unsurprisingly, lie with his aerial ability. The former Liverpool man dwarfs both Wilson and Gayle when it comes to aerial duels per 90 minutes [17.54 v 5.71 and 2.53 respectively], however Albion have the defence to deal with that strength.
Sam Allardyce favours a physical and unflinching defensive style that will come equipped to deal with Carroll’s aerial prowess.
Kyle Bartley, who has enjoyed a resurgence in personal form since Allardyce replaced Slaven Bilic as manager, even boasts a better successful aerial duel percentage than Carroll, with the defender winning 64.8& of his battles compared to Carroll’s 48.8%.
Should Carroll start for Newcastle, it still remains to be seen whether Albion could expect to hold him off, but the club come prepared to deal with what he offers, and the statistics indicate that they may be better off if Newcastle decide to hand the powerful forward a rare start.