West Ham United will host Fulham at the London Stadium on Friday night as both sides return to Premier League action after a near-two-week break.
Manuel Pellegrini will want to see his side put the work they put in on their Marbella training camp to good use as they look to continue in their efforts to climb the table, whilst Claudio Ranieri will want to see his team put up a fight as they try and turn their fortunes around at the bottom of the table.
Both clubs have star strikers that could lead the line on Friday night, with Marko Arnautovic and Aleksandr Mitrovic, who had both coincidently been linked with moves away from their respective clubs in the January transfer window.
However, who would be more important in this particular battle between the two attackers?
Arnautovic has once again been in fine form for Pellegrini’s side this season, despite having had to deal with injuries throughout the campaign.
Ever since arriving at the London Stadium from Stoke City, the 29-year-old has shown that he is vital to West Ham and has earned himself a reputation as a favourite amongst the fans.
The Austrian has fired seven goals in his 18 Premier League appearances so far, which had led to interest from China in securing his services, per BBC Sport, as he continues to relish playing as a striker – although he committed his future to the east London outfit with a new contract.
He has carried on from last season’s exploits, where he netted 11 goals in his 31 appearances and looks to be in a good position to better that record.
TT Grade: B+
Mitrovic may have struggled in the Premier League with Newcastle United, however, it is a completely different story at Fulham.
The Serbia international appears to have found his feet with the Craven Cottage outfit and has recently been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, who allegedly failed to sign him on Deadline Day in the January transfer window, per TEAMtalk.
The 26-year-old was outstanding for The Cottagers in the Championship last season and has continued that fine form this year in a challenging campaign for the west Londoners.
Mitrovic has 10 goals in his 26 Premier League appearances and is Fulham’s best chance of trying to remain in the top-flight at the end of the campaign.
TT Grade: B
Both strikers are incredibly important to their respective sides, with it being easy to see how much of an influence they have on their squads.
However, when considering what the two players can bring to the table, Arnautovic has to be considered the winner of this battle.
The Austrian has shown that he can adapt to different positions over the past couple of years and has been able to find the back of the net on a consistent basis, although Mitrovic has certainly improved as time has gone by.
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