Podolski > Suarez and Bendtner > Aguero: Mins per goal favours bit-part Gunners

Nicklas Bendtner 2

A goalscoring chart which features Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner in the top three? It's here...

Only Nicklas Bendtner himself would have had the gall to suggest he could feature highly in a Premier League scoring chart midway through the season, and then he would have been laughed out of town.

Yet here we are in mid-January and the statistics tell their own story.

Alas this is not the traditional golden boot race, in which Nicklas Bendtner has only two goals to his name. He would argue that's because he has only played 150 minutes of football, compared to the 1,528 played by top scorer Luis Suarez.

So broken down we have calculated with the help of Opta the minutes per goal ratios of Premier League forwards this campaign - and two bit-part Arsenal players find themselves featuring in the top three.

Bendtner is beaten to top spot by teammate Lukas Podolski, who averages a goal ever 63.55 minutes - he has three this season.

Top scorer Luis Suarez is the second most regular scorer, with a goal every 69.45 minutes. Bendtner, who has played in eight matches, has only played 150 minutes of football, and averages agoal every 75 minutes, third best in the Premier League.

Here is a look at the top 15 forwards in the league in terms of minutes per goal ratio:

PlayerTeamMins / GoalsAppsMins
Lukas Podolski Arsenal 63.33 5 190
Luis Suárez Liverpool 69.45 17 1,528
Nicklas Bendtner Arsenal 75.00 8 150
Matty Fryatt Hull 77.00 5 77
Sergio Agüero Man City 82.43 16 1,154
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool 99.91 14 1,099
Emmanuel Adebayor Spurs 111.00 7 555
Samuel Eto'o Chelsea 119.83 12 719
Carlton Cole West Ham 122.00 12 488
Ricardo Vaz Te West Ham 122.50 7 245
Robin van Persie Man Utd 130.29 11 912
Danny Welbeck Man Utd 137.00 16 1,096
Edin Dzeko Man City 143.67 16 862
Loïc Remy Newcastle 146.55 20 1,612
Álvaro Negredo Man City 147.22 21 1,325

It could be claimed Podolski and Bendtner's positions at the top is an anomaly for they have scored five between them all season - yet that's half the point - to take a look at what players do in the minutes provided to them, rather than simply posting up the Premier League Golden Boot chart.

Another shocker is West Ham's Carlton Cole topping Robin van Persie, a headline few could have imagined would ever occur. Liverpool's lethal SAS combination of Suarez and Sturridge both feature highly, as does recently exiled Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

Bendtner is now back in training for Arsenal after getting injured scoring against Cardiff and expected to start in the FA Cup against Coventry on Friday night.

Podolski is also back and healthy again, and while it may be a tall order for them to remain as lethal as they have been so far over the second half of the season, if they can they may just end up with league winner's medals.

How much has Bendtner surprised you since returning to Arsenal?

image: © calciostreaming

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