Belfast Telegraph

Sergio Aguero v Diego Costa - head to head

Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa will spearhead the attacks of Manchester City and Chelsea respectively as the title challengers meet in the Premier League on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport compares the two top scorers in the competition.


Both players came to the Premier League via Atletico Madrid and now boast a wealth of experience having been highly accomplished performers for several years. Aguero has been involved in two title-winning City sides and is a World Cup runner-up. Costa has won titles with Atletico and Chelsea.


Aguero began the season impressively with 11 goals in his first six appearances, including two hat-tricks. Despite that, manager Pep Guardiola still claimed he could be doing better and urged him to improve his all-round game. The Argentinian did not seem to respond to that and his form dipped but, with Guardiola now more forthcoming in his praise, it has recovered again. He has scored five in his last six, including two at Burnley last week. Costa has been involved in more goals in the Premier League than any other player this season - 10 goals and four assists - and seems to be revelling in Antonio Conte's system.


Regular muscle injuries are the chief reason why Aguero has never sustained any of his prolific purple patches over prolonged periods, but he has avoided serious problems this term. His only major absence was a three-game suspension for elbowing but, given his history, there are always concerns when he suffers a niggle. City will have been worried after a recent injury on international duty and they were cautious over a foot problem last week. C osta appears to be benefiting from Chelsea's absence from Europe and playing fewer games. Former manager Jose Mourinho once said two games a week was a tall order for him due to hamstring issues. He did withdraw from international duty recently but seems to be managing his condition well.


Their styles contrast, with Aguero renowned for his nimble footwork and finishing, and Costa for his aggression and ability to trouble defenders. They are both prolific scorers, having each struck 10 times in the league this term. Their roles have been slightly modified with Aguero having to run more and play his part in the pressing style Guardiola favours. Costa has impressed under Conte, who appears to have urged him to concentrate on the game rather than making a nuisance of himself. He also seems to have benefited from Eden Hazard and Pedro having more free roles behind him.


For someone normally so deadly, it is remarkable that Aguero struggles from the penalty spot. He has failed with three of his seven City spot-kicks this season, and has also missed another for Argentina. He remains the first-choice penalty-taker, with back-up Kevin De Bruyne having also missed one, but he does not inspire confidence in this area. Costa, as ever, remains a concern on the disciplinary front. He has improved in this regard and has not been booked since September, but there were still four yellow cards in his first six Premier League games of the campaign.


From Belfast Telegraph