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Diego Costa vs Alexis Sanchez: Who Has Been The Better Player Among The London Rivals?

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The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in world football at the moment and the current campaign has already shown that it hosts some of the best players in the world. The likes of Eden Hazard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Sergio Aguero and Mesut Ozil have all been in superb form this season but two players who have made similar starts to their campaign, and are fighting for the title are Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Diego Costa.

The 28-year old Spanish striker has been at the top of his game this season, winning Chelsea more than 9 points single handedly and keeping them at the top of the table. He has 12 goals and 5 assists to his name in 16 appearances and is currently the top scorer in the domestic league.  Arsenal’s Chilean, on the other hand, has been used as a false-9 this season after the manager failed to find a player who can lead the attack for the side in the summer.

The 27-year took no time to adjust to the new role and has also scored 12 goals, picking up 5 assists in 16 appearances so far this season. Both players are close to irreplaceable for their sides who have little backups on the bench and they are currently the top goals scorers in the Premier League. Here is a statistical comparison between the two for the current campaign.

Image result for alexis sanchez vs diego costa 2016-17

Both teams have completely different styles of play, making both players effective in their own way but here are few numbers that might help us understand who has been better. Costa, who has been an effective target man, edges past his Chilean counterpart in pass completion. The Chelsea man completes 76% of his passes while Sanchez is a bit wayward standing at 73%.

He also has a better shot accuracy rate at 64% compared to the 58% of the Arsenal man this season. Costa is also strong in the air and wins a lot of ariel duels, which is not necessarily an attribute that Sanchez is strong in. Costa wins 22% of his ariel duels while Sanchez does well at 18%.

But the Arsenal attacker has provided a more overall threat to the Arsenal attack and has been effective in front of goal in every game. He averages close to 3 key passes per game which is just a bit less than what Costa averages per game. Sanchez also creates close to 3 chances a game while Costa is around the 1.7 mark per game.

Image result for alexis sanchez vs diego costa 2016-17

The biggest difference between the two players has been the number of takes ons that Sanchez attempts and completes in a game. While Costa has a success rate of 39%, Sanchez has a staggering successful take on rate of 63% which is one of the highest in the league.

Both players have been in exceptional form this season and as already explained, they play in different systems and are given different tasks by their managers. However, both players are going neck to the neck not only at the top of the points table but also in the goal scorers list. It will be interesting to see how long they can keep their form up but if they can last the whole season, their clubs have a great chance to go all the way.