Romelu Lukaku v Harry Kane – who will come out on top?
An FA Cup goal-fest could be on the cards when Manchester United face-off with Spurs in the semi-final at Wembley this weekend, with the two top scorers in this season’s competition, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane facing off. The clash at England’s national stadium on Saturday evening sees two of English football’s top strikers battle it out to help their respective teams progress to the final of the world’s most famous cup competition.
Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane have scored the most goals of all the players left in the competition, at a currently tally of five goals and four goals, respectively. Their teams are set to battle it out under the arch to try and secure each sides’ only shot at silverware this season and, as a result, will be relying heavily on each their front men to do so.
With a running total of four goals, Kane has scored one less than his Red Devils’ counterpart but, significantly, he has played 66 fewer minutes of FA Cup football, all the while averaging a better goals-per-minute ratio than the Belgian striker.
At 46 minutes-per-goal in the tournament so far, Kane enjoys a more favourable rate of return than Lukaku, who has seen one attempt hit the back of the net every 50 minutes. Having said that, Lukaku’s knack for finding the target has been comparatively more efficient, with a 71% shots-on-target rate, compared to Kane’s 50%.
Going the distance
Despite both sides reaching the same point of the tournament, Spurs have had to endure two more games than Manchester United, owing to their two draws against Newport and Rochdale, which meant that Mauricio Pochettino’s men were taken to replays by their less illustrious opponents.
While Kane has played fewer minutes than Lukaku (despite the fact that Spurs have played two extra games), the England international enjoys a slightly better goals-per-minute return than the Belgian.
Lukaku’s tally of five renders him responsible for netting 50% of all of Manchester United’s FA Cup goals this season, with four other Red Devils responsible for the remaining five goals: Jesse Lingard (2), Marcus Rashford (1), Ander Herrera (1) and Nemanja Matic (1).
In contrast, Kane has notched a smaller proportion of his team’s goals in the tournament thus far. Spurs’ vast array of goal-scorers only serves to bolster the idea that we could see the net bulge quite a few times on Saturday evening.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have more-than-shared the goal-scoring duties in both league and cup this season, despite Kane’s prolific scoring streak. Reaching this semi-final stage has also been on account of Fernando Llorente (3), Christian Eriksen (2), Son Heung-Min (2), Erik Lamela (2), Kyle Walker-Peters (1) and Jan Vertonghen (1).
Spurs have finally found success at Wembley this season after enduring a shocking correlation between playing at the national stadium and suffering defeat. It is, after all, their home ground this campaign while White Hart Lane is being rebuilt, and they have scored 23 times there in this calendar year alone.
With 13 scorers between the two teams in the FA Cup so far, it would come as no surprise if we were to see a high-scoring semi-final encounter. United have found the net 2.3 times on average in each of their four games, while Spurs have netted 2.6 goals in each of their six.
No matter who triumphs, we have a tasty encounter on our hands.