Melbourne City FC face the difficult task of travelling to Perth Glory in search of three points on Wednesday night, although the team will be buoyed by the prospect of moving six points clear if it can come away with the win.
Jamie Maclaren will undoubtedly be looking forward to the clash as he looks to become the fastest player in Australian national league history to reach 100 goals, whilst a double would also see him bring up goal number 50 for Melbourne City.
City fans will be well-accustomed to the danger presented by Perth’s unpredictable striker Bruno Fornaroli, with the Uruguayan continuing to be the main man for the Glory this season.
Maclaren and Fornaroli have both played starring roles for their respective sides, starting all of their 18 and 17 available games, and have been subbed off just five times between the two of them.
In the metric that we know all strikers focus on most, Maclaren is streets ahead of the competition league-wide, let alone in direct comparison with Fornaroli, who he shades 20 goals to 8.
To Fornaroli’s credit, the Uruguayan has scored all eight of his goals from open-play, with Neil Kilkenny the main penalty-taker at Perth.
A testament to Maclaren’s brilliance in 2020/21 is the five assists that he’s been credited for this season, already exceeding his four from 25 A-League games last campaign. Fornaroli has also contributed to his team’s attack with two assists.
In an interesting contradiction, Fornaroli boasts the higher shooting accuracy of the two, getting 65.9% of his shots on target, as opposed to Maclaren’s 58.3%, yet it’s the City man who beats the keeper with his fewer on-target shots, with a conversion rate of 27.8% to 19.5%.
Whilst Maclaren has had plenty of success with his lethal right foot, scoring eight of his 16 goals from open play on that side of his body, Fornaroli has often been forced into improvised finishes on his non-preferred left, scoring four of his five non-headed goals on that foot.
In regards to their distribution, the opportunistic Maclaren is unsurprisingly involved less often in his side’s build-up play than Fornaroli, who is renowned for his hold-up qualities. The pair record 14.9 and 26 passes per 90 minutes at success rates of 71.8% and 84.4%.