Leeds and Newcastle head to head: Chris Wood v Dwight Gayle
COMMENT By Matt Farr
The Championship promotion race resumes on Tuesday night with both Leeds and Newcastle looking to continue their impressive form.
Newcastle sit five points clear at the top of the table, thanks largely to the goalscoring input of Dwight Gayle.
Leeds, meanwhile, are fourth, with Chris Wood leading the way for Garry Monk’s side.
The two strikers lead the Championship goalscoring charts this season, with Wood (22 goals) boasting a slight lead over Gayle (21).
But as the season enters the final stages, Football Insider attempts to find out which striker has performed better throughout the campaign:
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Gayle boasts a better minute-per-goal ratio than Wood, and also has the edge in terms of shot accuracy; while Wood is the clear winner in terms of chances created.
From his 33 Championship appearances this term, Wood has created a total of 27 chances. Gayle is some way behind with 19 chances created from his 25 appearances; but he has seen his playing time limited of late through injury.
But creating chances can have little significance if you haven’t got someone to finish them off, and that’s where Gayle, in particular, has excelled.
The 26-year-old has a shot accuracy of 68%, which is better than any other player behind him in the Championship goalscoring charts this season – hitting 44 of his 65 shots on target.
Wood, on the other hand, has registered just 38 of his 67 shots on target (57%), which pits him below both Scott Hogan of Aston Villa (63%) and Derby’s Tom Ince (60%), as well as Gayle.
Gayle also once again leads the way in terms of minute per goal, finding the back of the net roughly every 87 minutes.
Having played nearly every minute of every league game for Leeds this season, Wood averages one goal every 124 minutes.
But he continues to show his prolific touch, netting a double in the recent win over Birmingham on Friday night. His brace was his third of the season in the league, although he has yet net a hat-trick.
That is something Gayle has achieved twice. His first hat trick haul came against Norwich on September 28, with his second coming in a 4-0 win over Birmingham on December 10. He also has five two-goal hauls.
Aside from the statistical differences between the two players, both have been just as important to their respective sides as the other.
Newcastle would not have been able to maintain their push for the title had it not been for Gayle’s contributions, and he has been a big miss for the club in recent weeks through injury.
Wood, meanwhile, has fired Leeds into an unprecedented position in the play-offs, and with no other Leeds player having hit double figures in the league this season, he is arguably the first name on their team sheet.
Souleymane Doukara is the second highest goalscorer at Elland Road with five goals.