Premier League Logo
Talking Tactics

Palace partnership getting off the ground

Adrian Clarke 13 Nov 2016
Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace

Continuing look at best duos, Adrian Clarke analyses direct link between Jason Puncheon and Christian Benteke

In the second part of his analysis of the Premier League’s best combinations, Adrian Clarke turns to a promising combination at Selhurst Park.

Whether at a set-piece or in open play, the moment Jason Puncheon looks up to deliver a cross Christian Benteke is on the move.

No player in the Premier League has enjoyed more service from a team-mate's crossing than Benteke has of Puncheon.

Most completed crosses between players

 Crosser  Receiver   Completed crosses
 Puncheon  Benteke  12
Puncheon Dann  9
De Bruyne Aguero  8
Payet  Antonio   7
Shaqiri Shawcross  7

The underrated Puncheon has superb stats this season.

He is creating 2.7 chances a match, the same amount as Mesut Ozil and Philippe Coutinho, and only Dimitri Payet and Kevin De Bruyne have completed more successful crosses into the box than his 25.

Puncheon also leads the PL ranks for accurate corners, with no other player producing more than his accurate 18. 

Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
No player has completed more successful corner kicks than Jason Puncheon (18) this season

His precision levels have also markedly improved.

During the previous two campaigns Puncheon’s crosses reached a team-mate 18.1% and 22.8% of the time. This term that figure sits at a more impressive 42.9%.

Having a tall, powerful target man to aim for clearly suits the midfielder.

Of Premier League players to feature for more than 130 minutes this season Benteke is the most prolific winner of aerial duels (9.3 a match). That naturally gives Puncheon plenty of encouragement to whip crosses into the danger zone. 

Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace
Christian Benteke has won an average of 9.3 aerial duels per match for Crystal Palace

In total Benteke has been on the end of 34 crosses in a Palace shirt.

In the build-up to attacks you often will not see Puncheon and Benteke linking up in possession, but that is not the reason why Alan Pardew bought the 25-year-old from Liverpool.

The Palace manager hoped putting a quality left-footed crosser alongside a towering centre-forward would form a lethal combination.

Surprisingly, Puncheon has not assisted a goal for the Eagles’ leading scorer yet. However, having shared 13 key passes between themselves, the second highest for any PL pair, it looks to be only a matter of time before that changes and Palace begin to benefit. 

Tomorrow Adrian Clarke on an unheralded duo behind Chelsea's recent form

Latest News

More News: Latest News

Latest Videos

More Videos: Latest Videos