Sunday, 16 March 2014

Ings and Vokes firing Burnley towards the Premier League

The step up from the Championship to the Premier League is one that more than a few players have struggled with, the transition is particularly tough on strikers, and the quality of Premier League defences is a level above those in England’s second tier.

With Burnley sitting in second in the Championship, 10 points clear of second place Derby, they could be forgiven for starting to think about automatic promotion and adapting to Premier League life once more.

Central to that promotion charge have been the goals of Danny Ings, the 21 year old English striker. He is currently the second highest scorer in the division, with 20 goals, 2 more than strike partner Sam Vokes. The league’s deadliest strike force has 38 goals in 36 games between them.

Ings is also edging it in terms of assists too, with 5 to Vokes’ 4, despite his marginally superior statistics Ings has played two game less than Vokes who has featured in all of Burnley’s 36 league games so far this season. The fact that the two have played so much this season says a lot about their form but also Burnley’s reliance on them and with the news that Ings has picked up an injury against Birmingham on Tuesday, the goal scoring burden will now fall on Vokes.

Vokes, who’s aerial strength is something that teams have struggled to contain, winning an average of 7.2 headers per game. His strength in the air is part of the reason why his passing accuracy is so low (54.1%), as a general rule headers are harder to accurately place than passes. 

Vokes has experience in the Premier League with Wolves, however in those 3 seasons he made no starts and just 11 substitute appearances. Given that he played so infrequently it’s hardly surprising Vokes failed to score a Premier League goal. That said, the experience of being at a Premier League club, even if he isn’t playing is something that should stand him in good stead. That experience may be limited but it is more than Ings has.

Vokes averages 2.7 shots per game, less than Ings (3.3) that could be used to suggest that Vokes is more clinical than his strike partner, however, there’s very little in their statistics.

As an individual Ings is probably the better of the two players. He has scored more goals and more assists, but the true strength of their strike partnership is just that. Together they are better than either of them are individually, Vokes’ aerial and general strength are well complemented by Ings’ creativity. 

Ings is perhaps more flexible, he has also been employed as an attacking midfielder, in behind Vokes. In this situation Vokes is able to occupy the defenders creating space which INgs can occupy with devastating effect.

If Burnley are promoted Ings and Vokes will  be central to their success and vital if they are to survive, although they will certainly need to strength and some experience may well be required. If Burnley do not get promotion there’ll be no end of potential suitors for Ings and Vokes too. Either way, expect Danny Ings to be plying his trade in the Premier League next season. 

Statistics courtesy of

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