Manchester United: Is RVP-Rooney or Suarez-Sturridge the Better Strikeforce?

Jake NisseFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2013

Rooney and van Persie have quickly gained chemistry playing with each other
Rooney and van Persie have quickly gained chemistry playing with each otherClive Brunskill/Getty Images

While Manchester United cannot argue about their place in the EPL table being better than Liverpool's, they can make an argument boasting their strikeforce of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney over Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez.

First, the facts.

This season, Sturridge and Suarez have been extremely in-form, netting eight goals apiece thus far in EPL action.

Meanwhile, Rooney and Van Persie have been good, but not quite as good in this facet as their rivals at Anfield. Rooney has five goals, while Van Persie has seven.

However, the United pair have had six assists combined to the Liverpool unit's three.

The two strikeforces also have similar shot accuracy rates, with Van Persie and Rooney coming in at 54 and 59 percent respectively, and Suarez and Sturridge notching rates of 53 and 57 percent. (via Squawka)

The Liverpool duo however, have taken eight more shots, even with Suarez missing five EPL matches due to a suspension.

Sturridge and Suarez have been playing fantastically together this year
Sturridge and Suarez have been playing fantastically together this yearAlex Livesey/Getty Images

While their stats may be similar, the playing styles of these duos are very different. 

With ages of 28 and 30 respectively, Rooney and Van Persie are not quite as pacey as their Liverpool counterparts, though neither of them were ever really players that heavily relied on speed.

Rather, the United duo rely on strong passing and positional play to put the ball in the back of the net. Rooney is often called upon to do this from a playmaking position slightly behind Van Persie, while the Dutchman is perfectly capable of setting up others as well. 

gif via Bleacher Report

Ultimately, Rooney and Van Persie are flashy when they need to be, but they don't center their games around dribbling and pace. Instead, their clinical finishing, smart positional play and solid passing help to make them a partnership to be reckoned with.

Suarez and Sturridge are a much different story.

Obviously, with more combined goals and a comparable shot accuracy rate to United's duo, they have the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.

How they do that however, sets them apart from the boys from Old Trafford.

Though they are by no means inept passers or readers of the game, Suarez and Sturridge's success derives more from their pure athletic ability.

The two strikers are faster and more agile than the United pair, with superior footwork as well.

Many would call them flashy, but they'd be foolish not to take on and challenge defenders with their tricks given the fact that they both excel in this aspect of the game.

With this quality, Suarez and Sturridge seem to beat out Rooney and RVP ever so slightly, as they can manufacture moments of brilliance out of nothing.

gif via Feint Zebra

Meanwhile, their Mancunian counterparts rely more heavily on positional play and the service of others to score goals. In games where the wingers cross poorly, or the defense game-plans to man-mark them throughout the match, it is not all that uncommon to see them disappear.

With Rooney tracking back plenty however, this trait is more applicable to Van Persie.

And though their chemistry together is undeniable, Suarez and Sturridge still thrive by themselves, as the latter scored four of his eight goals without his partner in crime.

Ultimately, both of these strikeforces are without a doubt world-class, but Rooney and Van Persie's greater reliance on the players around them, who are probably slightly better than those of Liverpool's, make Sturridge and Suarez a slightly superior option.

March 15 should be one heck of a game.

Information from ESPNFC and Squawka was used in this article.