EPL: Power Ranking the Striker Partnerships Post Transfer Deadline

James WillisAnalyst IFebruary 10, 2011

EPL: Power Ranking the Striker Partnerships Post Transfer Deadline

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Wayne Rooney (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on December 26,
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Following the January transfer window, all 20 Premier League teams now have the players that will see them through to the end of the season.

    While a good defence is important, if the team cannot get goals of their own to take advantage, then conceding low may go to waste.

    With most clubs bolstering their squad during the January transfer window, here are the latest Premier League striker partnership power rankings.

20. Wolverhampton Wanderers: Steven Fletcher and Kevin Doyle

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18:  Steven Fletcher (L) of Wolves is congratulated by teammate Kevin Doyle after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers at White Hart Lane on Sep
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    There's nothing wrong with Fletcher and Doyle; in fact, they're two perfectly talented strikers in their own right, but with comparison to the rest of the Premier League's strikers, they fall just short.

    Doyle did manage to help the club in its shock win over Manchester United, ending the club's unbeaten run, which lasted back to April 2010.

    While the partnership is still able, they may just not be quite good enough to keep the club in the Premier League for another season.

    While they may be at the bottom of this list, the pair clearly still have some talent, as they will both be playing for their respective nations in the recently begun Aviva Nations Cup.

19. Blackpool: DJ Campbell and James Beattie

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    BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  DJ Campbell of Blackpool beats Rodoslav Kovac of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackpool and West Ham United at Bloomfield Road on February 2, 2011 in Blackpool, England.  (Photo by Ale
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Not many people have seen these two play together for long enough to judge them properly yet, hence part of the reason they are so low on this list.

    James Beattie has plenty of Premier League experience in the past as well as a small amount of SPL experience with Rangers. DJ Campbell has also had some previous Premier League experience with a number of other clubs which could prove invaluable this season.

    While their experience and the strength of the club's squad overall looks like it should be enough for them to remain in the Premier League another season, the club's two front men need to prove they can work together to pull the club out of it's current slump in form. 

18. Wigan Athletic: Victor Moses and Hugo Rodallega

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Referee Mike Dean makes a point to Hugo Rodallega of Wigan Athletic during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers at DW Stadium on February 5, 2011 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Chris Br
    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Victor Moses was once dubbed as the next big name striker for England, and he has so far struggled to live up to that potential. Hugo Rodallega, meanwhile, has been a very solid performer for the club but is still far from top of the table material.

    The club have survived well in the Premier League for the last few seasons, but they have also always been nearer the bottom of the table than the top.

    To avoid being sucked into a relegation fight every season, the team will need to improve their strikers as well as bolstering the squad in other positions.

17. Newcastle United: Leon Best and Shola Ameobi

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02:  Shola Ameobi of Newcastle United is substituted for team mate Leon Best during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United at the DW Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by C
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    With the departure of Andy Carroll, Newcastle have slipped further down this list. They'll also have a worry of a number of other short term injuries to some of their strikers, meaning the signing of Shefki Kuqi will come as a slight boost to the team.

    Despite their striker worries, Ameobi and Best have stepped up when the club needed them to most after the departure of their star player. Leon Best played a very key role in the amazing comeback against Arsenal, while Ameobi also has a decent amount of EPL experience.

    Although the two players are still adapting to playing full matches together, they'll have spent enough time on the training ground to be a successful partnership.

16. Birmingham City: Cameron Jerome and Nikola Zigic

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    BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Nikola Zigic  of Birmingham scores thier first goal during the Barclays premier league match between Birmingham City and Manchester City at St Andrews on February 2, 2011 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Richard Heath
    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    In the Pre-January rankings, Zigic and Jerome may have been a lot lower on this list, but after a far better run of form recently, the pair have managed to force their way up to 16th.

    Zigic was one of the key players in Birmingham's second leg win over West Ham in the Carling Cup semi finals, setting them up with a Wembley meeting against Arsenal. Jerome has also managed to find a certain amount of form, attracting the interest of Newcastle following the sale of Andy Carroll.

    Zigic can also lay claim to being the tallest player in the Premier League, ahead of Peter Crouch, although that doesn't have much to do with their ranking. At least the partnership can claim they're top of the league with regards to something though.

15. West Ham United: Victor Obinna and Robbie Keane

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    BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Robbie Keane of West Ham United celebrates with Mark Noble after scoring his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackpool and West Ham United at Bloomfield Road on February 2, 2011 in Blackpool, Englan
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The pair haven't been able to play together too much yet, but they have already partnered up quite well, apparently.

    Keane, on loan from Tottenham, has made a good start to his West Ham career, having already scored for the club. Obinna, meanwhile, may well have put himself ahead of Piqiuonne in the pecking order at the club thanks to a good run of form recently.

    Despite the club struggling at the bottom of the table, it could be their strikers who manage to drag the team out of their current struggle. If Scott Parker can act as an anchor in midfield to ensure that the other midfielders can get forward and provide assists for the strikers, then there may yet be light at the end of the tunnel for the club. 

14. Stoke City: Kenwyne Jones and John Carew

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    STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: John Carew of Stoke salutes the fans after the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium on February 5, 2011 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty I
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    It's hard to judge just how well these two will do together as they haven't played that much, but from the little evidence seen, they could well be a successful pairing.

    Kenwyne Jones had a very strong spell at Sunderland before his move to Stoke, making his ability invaluable for a team looking to push on in the Premier League. John Carew has also had plenty of Premier League experience with Aston Villa despite falling off form recently.

    Carew will be hoping to find his best form again at Stoke and seems to have made his impact on the club, having scored already. Kenwyne Jones, meanwhile, just needs to maintain his best form, and the club should be able to finish in a decent position again.

13. Blackburn Rovers: Junior Hoilett and Roque Santa Cruz

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    BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23:  Junior Hoilett of Blackburn Rovers celebrates with his team mates Roque Santa Cruz and Michel Salgado (L) after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and West Bro
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Very few people had, or still have, heard of Junior Hoilett, but some of the Canadian's recent performances for Blackburn have been very impressive. He has not, however, played too many games with Roque Santa Cruz, who has rejoined the club from Manchester City having fallen down the pecking order at Eastlands.

    Santa Cruz really made a name for himself during his first stint at Blackburn and will hope to do so again, having returned to the club.

    Although it's hard to tell how successful the two players will be as a pairing, they both have the ability to be very successful together given the chance.

12. Fulham: Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11:  Bobby Zamora (L) of Fulham in action with Christophe Berra of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Craven Cottage on September 11, 2010 in London, E
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    Bobby Zamora had a great season last year leading Fulham to the Europa League final and was rewarded with his first England cap. Andy Johnson has, meanwhile, slipped out of the limelight to a certain extent over the last few years.

    With Zamora injured, though, Johnson has had the chance to step up and be the finisher that Fulham need. Although he has not exactly grabbed the headlines, Johnson has done a solid job for the club, which could be all the more impressive when Zamora returns.

    One of the biggest problems though is not only age, but also Zamora's fitness. Both players are now 30, and with the tough problem of injuries, they may not have too long to form a real partnership.

11. West Bromwich Albion: Carlos Vela and Peter Odemwingie

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    WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01:  Peter Odemwingie of West Brom celebrates scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic at The Hawthorns on February 1, 2011 in West Bromwich, England.
    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Before the season started, no one expected that these two would be as high in this list as they are, but Odemwingie has been on fire this season.

    Although the Uzbekistan born Nigerian international may not be attracting attention from the very top clubs, he has now doubt proved he has the ability to be a star player for a team like West Brom, who are fighting to ensure Premier League survival.

    Arsenal fans will be able to tell you how able Carlos Vela is as well, with the player on loan at West Brom from the London team. The youngster played for Mexico at the World Cup, helping them reach the second round of the tournament.

10. Bolton Wanderers: Daniel Sturridge and Kevin Davies

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05:  Daniel Sturridge of Bolton Wanderers looks dejected after defeat in the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane on February 5, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Daniel Sturridge and Kevin Davies have only been playing together for a short period of time, and the partnership will only last until the summer when Sturridge returns to his parent club Chelsea, but that does not mean that the partnership will be any less impressive.

    Sturridge is beginning to live up to the earlier potential he showed in his career and looks like a potentially great striker on both an international and domestic level if he can get enough playing time. Davies has also finally earned an international cap in his 30's, mirroring his recent run of good form.

    The pair have already looked good together for Bolton in their rare moments of playing together since Sturridge's move, but they should really click before the end of the season.

9. Everton: Louis Saha and Jermain Beckford

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29:  Louis Saha of Everton celebrates scoring the opening goal during the FA Cup sponsored by E.On Fourth Round match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on January 29, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Live
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Louis Saha has finally found his style and form again following a drop in performance after his move away from Fulham back in 2004. Despite having shown moments of magic since his original transfer, his leg break while at Manchester United seemed to ruin his career until its current rejuvenation at Everton.

    Jermain Beckford, meanwhile, came to attention following a string of good performances for Leeds United, including an FA Cup run that involved beating Manchester United last season. Beckford, although in his first season at Everton, has already managed to hold down a starting XI place and has also earned himself a few goals.

    Together Beckford and Saha can be dominant on their day, although they have yet to truly gel together. With that said, it could be these two players that are key to pulling Everton back up the table.

8. Sunderland: Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck

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    WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Asamoah Gyan of Sunderland celebrates after team-mate Darren Bent scores during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland at Molineux on November 27, 2010 in Wolverhampton, Engl
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Sunderland fans were understandably delighted when they heard about the signing of Asamoah Gyan, Ghana's World Cup star. The 25-year-old was on top form in the summer, leading his country into the World Cup semi-finals.

    Alongside the World Cup star is another player thought to have a great future for England. Danny Welbeck, this time on loan from Manchester United, has also been finding his best form recently for Sunderland following the sale of Darren Bent.

    Welbeck and Gyan haven't spent too much time playing together but will have had enough experience on the training pitch to know each other's game. They should be a success provided they can continue working together as a partnership, at least until the end of the season.

7. Tottenham Hotspur: Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05:  Mark Davies of Bolton Wanderers tackles Jermain Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane on February 5, 2011 in London, England.
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    It may come as a surprise to some people that this pair aren't in higher in the list, but this season has so far not been one of the most of successful for the pairing. Rafael Van Der Vaart has so far scored more goals this season than both Crouch and Defoe together. In fact, Gareth Bale has also achieved that feat.

    The reason they still remain in the top 10, however, is that part of the reason for their low scoring campaign may be Defoe's injury. It is evident from past seasons that this little and large pairing can be a strike partnership that scores for fun, but so far this season, they have yet to click into top gear.

    It will be important that they do start scoring more in this second half of the season so the team doesn't become over reliant on their midfield. Either way, Defoe and Crouch both have the ability to provide assists as well, and their recent Champions League experience will also go a long way.

6. Liverpool: Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Kenny Dalglish the manager of Liverpool stands between his new signings, Andy Carroll (l) and Luis Suarez (r) during a photocall at Anfield on February 3, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    You could either argue that this pair are too high on the list or too low. With their respective abilities combined there is no reason they shouldn't be in the top five of the list. Suarez has been on fantastic form for Ajax and particularly grabbed the headlines during the World Cup. Carroll also earned his first international cap recently, performing admirably against France for England.

    Thanks to Carroll's injury, though, it is hard to tell whether these two will click together as they have yet to play together, but it is expected that, thanks to their talents, they could well become one of the top striker partnerships in the Premier League.

    Until they have played together, one can only guess how good of a partnership they will be.

5. Aston Villa: Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent

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    BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  Darren Bent of Aston Villa in action on his debut during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park on January 22, 2011 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Ima
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Agbonlahor may not be on top form at the moment, but with Darren Bent playing alongside him, this pairing may be Aston Villa's best hope for hauling themselves back up the table this season.

    Bent has been on top form recently, scoring goals for fun, and with Ashley Young also playing up and around the box to provide assists, Villa appear to have a very strong front line.

    Given that he has a strong squad of players around him, Agbonlahor shouldn't be off form for too much longer, and combining with Bent, Aston Villa may have a lot to look forward to.

4. Chelsea: Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea holds his face after a challenge by Daniel Agger of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on February 6, 2011 in London, England.  (Ph
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    These two haven't had much playing time together, like a number of the other strike partnerships in this list. It's hard to tell exactly how well the pair will do together, and it is thought by some that Anelka would be a better partner for Torres.

    Regardless, the pair could turn out to be one of the fiercest the Premier League has seen in a long while. As of yet, there is no proof that the two can play together, but with regards to individual talent, this is arguably the best strike partnership in the entire league.

    The reason the pair are lower on the list is simply because we haven't seen their best yet. Drogba has struggled to regain his best form since his bout of malaria, and Torres has been struggling so far this season as well.

3. Arsenal: Robin Van Persie and Marouane Chamakh

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal celebrates with Marouane Chamakh (L) as he scores their first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and FK Partizan Belgrade at the Emirates St
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    They may not be the two biggest names in the Premier League, but they do provide one of the best strike partnerships. Perhaps it's because in terms of the top four, they're living in the shadow of a number of other big name strikers, but Van Persie and Chamakh seem to get their heads down and the job done.

    It's not to say that the pair don't have off form games. Neither of them are too close to the front of the pack in terms of goal scorers this season, but together, they've got a solid scoring record. Maybe they're not at the top of every ranking, but that doesn't matter so long as they're shooting Arsenal up into the top four.

    The club are challenging for the Premier League title this season, and although it looks unlikely that they'll overturn Manchester United, they can be happy with their season overall, thanks to the efforts of these two strikers already.

2. Manchester United: Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is congratulated by team mate Dimitar Berbatov (R) after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on
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    Rooney has not been on the best of form this season, and in fact, you could also argue that Berbatov has struggled as well, despite leading the goalscorers race. Having scored two hat tricks and one five goal haul, Berbatov has scored 11 of his goals over just three games. While that's admirable, it means that his other eight goals have come far and few between the rest of the games he's played in this season.

    Despite both strikers' worries, with the support of the strong team behind them, they've both managed to find a relative degree of success this season.

    It's clear from past seasons as well that when these two players hit top form, they're arguably the most unstoppable striking partnership in the League. The only problem is that they've not found that form so far this season. 

1. Manchester City: Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with team mate Edin Dzeko during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the City of Manchester S
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    Carlos Tevez has been hammering in the goals all season long for Manchester City and already seems to be linking up well with new signing Edin Dzeko.

    As if these two players up front for a team wasn't good enough, the club also have Mario Balotelli to rotate with either of them when they need to.

    Carlos Tevez is currently second in the race for the Premier League golden boot on 18 goals, and with a player with the ability of Dzeko also playing alongside him, this is one front line that every Premier League team fears coming up against. Once Dzeko settles in a bit more, Manchester City may be able to mount a late battle on Manchester United for the Premier League table.