The game changers: A statistical comparison between Bartholomew Ogbeche and Greg Stewart

As the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season’s matchweek 1 gets underway, a mouth-watering fixture between reigning Hero ISL champions Hyderabad FC and former Hero ISL champions Mumbai City FC will take centre stage as the two teams will bring forth their champion pedigree as they face each other.

However, the game will also witness a battle between two players who are, and will be of paramount importance to their respective sides, and have the potential to be the game-changer.

Bartholomew Ogbeche vs Greg Stewart.

An elite goalscorer and a veteran of the Hero ISL, who is the league’s all-time leading goalscorer with 53 goals to his name, Ogbeche faces stiff competition from Stewart who stole the limelight during his time at Jamshedpur FC last season. The former Rangers forward scored ten goals and provided as many assists, and was crowned as the Hero of the League as the Red Miners clinched the League Winners Shield.

Hyderabad FC have an unchanged core and have retained a majority of their foreign players, with the Nigerian striker leading their attack. Mumbai City FC, on the other hand, have reshuffled their pack in terms of their foreign contingent, adding four new players in the team, including Stewart, who will be a decisive player for the Des Buckingham-coached side.

Having been the cradle of goals at several Hero ISL clubs, Ogbeche has been at the top of his game and has registered double-digit goal contributions in every single season of his Hero ISL career. The attacker netted 18 goals in the 2021-22 season, eight more than Stewart, who finished second. The 18 goals he scored is the joint-highest number of goals scored by a player in a season of the Hero ISL alongside FC Goa’s Ferran Corominas, who achieved the same feat in the 2017-18 season.

Scotsman Stewart left a long-lasting impression among JFC fans with his impressive numbers in his Hero ISL debut season, playing a big part in his team’s hunt for their first-ever silverware which culminated in him earning a big move to Mumbai City FC ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The 32-year-old topped the charts for most assists (10), goal contributions (20), chances created (67), crosses attempted (73), passes completed in the final third (304), passes into the opposition box (113) and touches in the attacking third (710) in Hero ISL 2021-22. 

As the two look to continue their form and open their goalscoring account, here’s a look at the statistical comparison between the two players.

Bart Ogbeche

Metric

Greg Stewart

18

Goals

10

1

Assists

10

19

Goal contributions

20

66

Shots

61

32

Shots on target

25

28

Total chances created

67

Between the two prolific goalscorers, Ogbeche has a better goal conversion rate and registered more shots last season. His 32 shots on target in the 2021-22 season was the joint-highest alongside Alvaro Vazquez. Stewart, on the contrary, likes to be involved more in the build-up while also being a major threat in the attack, excelling in chance creation, having created 67 chances last season.

A powerhouse under the proficiency of Spaniard Manolo Marquez, Ogbeche’s goalscoring ability looms at large and is a menace inside the box. While in a rather unchanged setup at Hyderabad FC, the striker will have pressure on him to better his goalscoring tally in the 2022-23 season and shatter more records.

However, in Stewart, a forward who became only the second player in Hero ISL history to reach double figures for both goals and assists in the same edition of the Hero ISL after Hugo Boumous in 2019-20, head coach Des Buckingham possesses a decoy weapon.

Buckingham can unleash his creativity in several possible ways - as a false nine, as a proper 10, as a striker - while having the repertoire of creative midfielders like Ahmed Jahouh, Alberto Noguera, and menacing forwards such as Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Bipin Singh, and Lallianzuala Chhangte around him.

While Ogbeche and Stewart might be distinctive in their respective aspects, both of them have an elite profile in their lofty attacking standards. Come kick-off on Sunday, the two will be pitted against each other with a similar purpose: score goals and bag the three points.  

However, irrespective of who ends up being the better player or come up with more goals at the end of the season, the duo are on the top of their game - one being at the peak of his career while the other is just getting started.

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