ISL 2017-18: Ferran Corominas vs Miku - The battle royale of the league's best strikers!

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The Bengaluru FC forward's ability to thrive under multiple systems is hard to find while the Goa forward's technical ability is unparalleled...

When Bengaluru FC take on FC Goa in their Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Friday, it will see the league’s top two goal-scorers go head to head for the second time this season.

The last time these two sides met at the Fatorda stadium in November last year, Ferran Corominas’ first of three hat-tricks in the season had led the hosts to a 4-3 victory over the Blues in a seesaw battle.

The Spaniard’s 63rd-minute strike had been the difference ultimately after Miku Fedor Flores had equalized for the visitors in the 60th minute. Corominas currently leads the goalscoring charts in the ISL with 13 goals in 12 appearances while Miku follows him in second place with 11 goals in his 14 games.

Both men have enjoyed a stellar supporting cast around them as they have gone about raising the levels of goalscoring in the league. Corominas has formed a lethal partnership with Manuel Lanzarote who has banged in eight goals of his own apart from garnering the second most assists in the leagues with five. Bengaluru’s Venezuelan forward has meanwhile struck up a deadly partnership with Sunil Chhetri who has scored nine goals and provided three assists.

With 1.08 goals per game compared to Miku’s 0.79, it is, of course, Goa’s Spaniard who has been the slightly more productive of the two strikers. Corominas has had 26 shots on goal so far in the season, thus earning him a conversion rate of exactly 50 per cent. On the other hand, Bengaluru’s No. 7 has had 30 shots for his 11 goals at a conversion rate of 37 per cent.

If one were to look at purely attacking numbers, the Goan forward edges it simply due to the higher number of goals while also providing three assists. Stats, however, do not tell the entire story.

While Corominas has primarily been deployed as the furthest man in Goa’s attack, Miku has been used in multiple systems by Albert Roca. The Venezuelan has interchanged with Chhetri many a time during the course of the season, dropping back behind the Bengaluru skipper at times while also drifting to the wings often.

The Spaniard loves playing off the shoulders of the last man in defence and his well-timed runs to beat the offside trap have resulted in many goals. He is part of the most well-drilled attack in the league who fluid style has drawn many admirers. It is no surprise to see Sergio Lobera’s men topping the goalscoring charts with 29 of them despite playing two games less than Friday’s opponents.

Their all-out attacking philosophy of outscoring their opponents has seen Goa ship a fair amount of goals at the back. But their attack is simply second to none in the ISL. On the contrary, while the Blues have not been shy of scoring goals themselves in attack, theirs is a more balanced side with a much tighter ship at the back.

Simply speaking, Corominas has had the luxury of playing for a side which is programmed to be on the front foot constantly. This, in turn, leads to better service. Bengaluru’s more balanced approach with has meant that the supply for the front-men has not often been the greatest.

When the Bengaluru midfield has been off its game offensively, Miku has often bailed out Bengaluru with individual moments of brilliance inside the box. His goal to seal the away tie against Kerala Blasters comes to mind where the forward burst through his own half after a corner clearance to get behind Edu Garcia’s through ball. He then showed some clever touches to outfox the last defender before slotting the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0 for Bengaluru in injury-time.

Both the strikers are excellent technically on the ball but while the Spaniard is as silky smooth as they come, Miku is more of a terrier with his excellent work-rate and a willingness to carve out chances out of nothing.

That becomes apparent when one checks the defensive contribution of the two where Corominas has just the two successful tackles compared to Miku’s 21. The Spaniard shades the Venezuelan in all attacking aspects including big chances created and key passes. He is the perfect striker for Lobera’s system but it would not be impossible to imagine that Miku could rack up similar numbers in the same.

However, the Goans only play one way while Bengaluru have adopted different systems at different stages of the league. 

Numbers will suggest that the Goan forward is the much superior attacker when it comes to productivity. However, Miku’s workhorse approach along with his adaptability while still banging in goals would make him an attractive proposition for any outfit, be it an uber-attacking outlet like FC Goa, or an ultra-defensive side like Jamshedpur FC.

Who would you have in your team? Miku or Coro?

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