Date: 1st April 2008 at 5:55pm
Written by:

Actim Index Player Focus – Fernando Torres & Emmanuel Adebayor

They will be sick of the sight of each other by this time next week.

Liverpool and Arsenal lock horns three times in six days with both domestic and European success at stake. And in what will be the second instalment of the trilogy, attention will turn to the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Most eyes at the Emirates will be fixed on two of the division’s biggest hitters – Togo hotshot Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafa Benitez’s Spanish goal machine Fernando Torres.

The pair are flying high at the top end of The Actim Index, the official player ratings system of the Barclays Premier League, and but for a rampant Cristiano Ronaldo, would be fighting it out for top spot as the season draws to a thrilling conclusion.

Ronaldo leads the way with 698 points but it is the battle just below him that is expected to rage on until the last kick of the 2007/08 campaign. Torres has the edge with 593 points, only eight clear of the Gunner – with Adebayor’s team-mate Cesc Fabregas in fourth position overall on 523 points.

The former Atletico Madrid man, however, has been on fire since the turn of the year. He is the top-ranked player in the Premier League since January 1, earning a massive 342 points in that time, with Adebayor the third-highest ranked player of 2008 with 253.

The pair have spent almost the same amount of time on the pitch during that spell, Adebayor’s 1077 minutes just seven more than his rival. But where the Liverpool man has the edge has been in front of goal.

He has scored 12 times in the Premier League from just 22 shots on target – with seven more missing the mark. Adebayor has countered with just eight league strikes, those coming from 24 shots on target and another 14 off.

But before the game is written off as the Fernando Torres show, the balance can be tipped firmly back in the Arsenal star’s favour. While Torres has been unstoppable at Anfield, his stats on the road will make happier reading for the Gunners.

Torres has scored 39 points on opposition soil compared to his staggering haul on Merseyside, while Adebayor has been far less picky, scoring higher on his travels with 135 points and taking his other 118 at Emirates Stadium.

Behind the frontmen, two midfield maestros will be charged with supplying the bullets for their respective top guns. Fabregas and Liverpool rival Steven Gerrard also have little to choose between them this term.

The Spain international began the season like a train but Gerrard has evened out the scores as the campaign has progressed and is now sitting in seventh position overall, just 28 points behind the Arsenal man.

Fabregas, however, plays his opponent off the park in the passing stakes, completing a staggering 834 in the opposition half this season, with team-mate Alexander Hleb his closest rival with 671.

Gerrard is the fourth-ranked passer with 583, with 10 assists to his credit compared to an Index-leading 17 from the Spaniard.