Whilst this season’s Premiership looks like it will be dominated by teams playing only one striker, there are still some mouth-watering striker pairings that may come to the fore when players return from injury lay-offs. It's hard not to get excited by the likes of Tevez and Aguero, Rooney and RVP, Cisse and Ba, and even Crouch and Owen.
The prospect of Tevez and Aguero playing together has been an exciting one ever since the latter joined from Athletico Madrid. The fans were denied this partnership for much of last year thanks to Tevez’s spectacular commitment to tantrums and/or golf, but there were glimpses of what could be in store for us in the 6-1 demolition away at Norwich, when the two Argentines notched up five goals between them. Aguero’s injury at the start of this season has again delayed the formation of the partnership, but with his return imminent, Norwich might not be the last team to face a mauling.
Robin van Persie’s move to Manchester United was indubitably the star signing of the summer. With Shinji Kagawa already added to United’s attacking ranks there were questions on how Ferguson would set up his attack to utilise the array of talent at his disposal.
When fit, however, there can be little doubt that RVP and Rooney will start plenty of games together and it is an intriguing prospect. Between them the pair stacked up 57 goals and 13 assists between them last year, whether together they can be greater than the sum of their parts is something that will be keeping Premier League defensive coaches awake at night.
Keeping both Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba is the best bit of business Alan Pardew could have done this summer. The two Senegalese strikers were the driving force behind Newcastle's surge into 5th last season with Ba taking all the plaudits before Christmas, after which he dropped deeper to provide the ammunition for Cisse's remarkable 13 goals in as many starts.
The challenge this season is to find a system where both men are able to play as out and out strikers, their sluggish start to the season is an indication that Pardew hasn't quite cracked it yet, but Ba's brace from the bench against Everton is hopefully a marker of what's to come. International duty may interrupt their Premier League season, and Senegal’s attempts to overcome a 4-2 deficit in the second leg of their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast will be followed very closely by Newcastle fans.
Finally, it's fair to say that Owen and Crouch don’t have quite the glamour of the other partnerships mentioned above. However at 32 and 31, both are younger than you might think, and they certainly have the potential to score plenty of goals this season. Provided, as ever, Owen's fragile body holds up, and he can keep his mind off the geegees.
image: © Alfonso Jimenez