Key Battle: Fornaroli v Taggart

Saturday night’s clash against Brisbane Roar will see two of the competition’s most prolific strikers go head-to-head. Ahead of the match, we take a look at the key numbers between Bruno Fornaroli and Adam Taggart. 

Bruno Fornaroli and Adam Taggart have both started in each of the opening four rounds of the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season, emphasising the important roles that they play for their respective sides.

Fornaroli is entering his fourth season with Melbourne City, while Taggart, who has represented three different A-League clubs, is beginning his first season at Brisbane Roar. 

In many ways the two attackers share the same objective, to score goals and create chances for their teammates, but when it comes to their personal style of play, they are both unique in their own ways. 

Fornaroli is very much a player who likes the ball at his feet, to turn three opponents in one move and finish brilliantly off one step. In contrast, Taggart is also capable of producing the spectacular with the ball at his feet as well as presenting as an aerial threat and using his football smarts when the ball is on the deck. 

The attacking third is where both players excel and by looking at the numbers it’s evident that they have both had strong starts to the new season. In four matches, Fornaroli has had 11 shots on goal, with five of those shots directed on target and one of those attempts registering a goal – that being his spectacular effort against Wellington Phoenix in Round 3. 

After a frustrating opening two matches where Fornaroli was finding himself in the right areas and producing the right runs, yet not finishing off his hard work, there’s a sense that his goal a fortnight ago will release the shackles in front of goal going forwards. 

For Brisbane, Taggart has had 10 shots on goal, with five of those being on target and three ending up in the back of the net. At a conversion rate of 30 per cent in front of goal, the Roar striker has had an electrifying start to life in Brisbane, scoring three goals in his opening four matches. 

All three of Taggart’s goals have come inside the penalty box on his right-foot, highlighting his greatest strength. Fornaroli’s solo right-footed strike was from outside the 18-yard box, demonstrating his ability to find the back of the net from just about anywhere inside the attacking third. 

Despite attempting 29 less passes than his counterpart, Fornaroli has only registered one less successful pass. The Uruguayan attacker might not get hold of the ball as much as his Brisbane opponent, but there’s no doubt that he uses every touch with great effect. 

The City attacker is currently travelling at a remarkable 90 per cent pass success rate, attempting 60 passes, with only six of those passes being unsuccessful. Of his 54 successful passes, three passes have been key attacking passes. 

In contrast, Taggart has attempted 89 passes, with 55 of those attempts being successful. He has made one key pass in his opening four matches. The Roar attacker’s aerial threat may explain why he has won 55 per cent of his aerial duels. 

After reflecting on the key statistics, both players enter the match in-form and with a good chance to shape the game.

Whether it’s Fornaroli producing the spectacular or creating a chance for one of his teammates, or Taggart adding to his growing goal tally, there’s a good chance that one of the two will influence Saturday night’s result. 

City travel to Queensland to play Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 24 November, kick-off  7:50pm, before returning to AAMI Park to host Newcastle Jets on Sunday 2 December. 

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