This Sunday the winner of the Sky Bet Championship player of the season will be announced at the annual ceremony, where the decision will be made from the three shortlisted players Dwight Gayle, Chris Wood or Anthony Knockaert.
The teams that these players represent, Newcastle United, Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion, are all in their own battle as well as they fight for promotion as we enter the business end of the season.
However one debate that has also been going on throughout the campaign and has divided the opinion of fans from all clubs is ‘who is the best striker in the Championship’? We look at the facts in detail of both players to help you make your decision between two of the hottest in-form strikers in England, Chris Wood and Dwight Gayle.
On total goals in the Championship this season Chris Wood is the leader, with 24 goals already this season. Dwight Gayle is right behind Wood in second place, with 22 goals this season, meaning the strikers have a combined tally of 46 goals in the league alone. This in itself is impressive as it is more goals then seven Championship clubs have throughout their whole squad, and is just one short of promotion-hopefuls Huddersfield Towns tally for the season of 47 goals.
A statistic that is less impressive is the amount of assists the two players have, both with just two for the season. This however does show that the strikers are heavily relied on by their teams to score rather then create, which is a good attribute for any striker.
Earlier on in the season Dwight Gayle picked up an injury which left him on the sidelines for over a month, meaning he missed vital game time during this month. Chris Wood however has had no serious injury this season and has only missed out on two of Leeds’ league games, meaning he has played a total of 8 more games then Gayle.
This means that the Newcastle star does have a better goals per minute ratio then the Leeds United forward, averaging a goal every 92 minutes in the Championship compared to Woods’ 125 minutes per goal.
Another key statistic to consider is the two strikers accuracy in front of goal. Gayle has had a total of 68 shots for the season with 46 of them being on target, giving him an accuracy rate of 68%. Wood however has had more shots then the ex Crystal Palace man, with 72, but with less going on target at just 41, giving him an accuracy rate of 57%, meaning Gayle wins in that category as well.
One final thing to consider is how much each club relies on their clinical striker to score for them. Gayle is responsible for just 31% of Newcastle’s goals this season, whilst Wood is responsible for 46% of all Leeds United’s goals this season in the league.
After taking all this into consideration, who do you feel is the better striker in the Championship? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch via our twitter @EFLChampBlog