Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting vs. Sebastien Haller: The Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund strikers compared
One's filling the boots of Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, the other has stepped into the Erling Haaland void at Borussia Dortmund. The question is: how do Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Sebastien Haller compare going into Der Klassiker? bundesliga.com crunches the numbers
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No longer the willing and able understudy, Choupo-Moting has become Bayern's first-choice in the No.9 role vacated by Lewandowski. The Cameroonian has registered 10 goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances at a rate of one every 103 minutes in 2023/23, despite missing the first five matchdays through injury. Only the twinkle-toed Jamal Musiala has found the net more often for Bayern (11 goals), but no one across the entire league has been as prolific since 'Choups' made his first start of the campaign on Matchday 10 (10 goals).
Haller was handed the same task after being brought in as Haaland's direct replacement at Dortmund. However, a testicular cancer diagnosis in July 2022 put his life - not just his football career - on hold. Remarkably, after two operations and four rounds of chemotherapy, the Ivorian was back on the pitch in the new year. The Ivorian scored his first competitive goal for Dortmund on International World Cancer Day, and added a brace in the Matchday 25 rout of Cologne to make it three goals from just nine attempts on goal.
Watch: Sebastien Haller's emotional comeback
Haller's efficient, but Choupo-Moting leads the way for predatory instinct with a league-best +4.4 shot effiency rating, as per Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS. He's also put away more goals on the road (seven) and on the counter (four) than any player in the Bundesliga this term, whilst converting six of his nine clear-cut chances. All that despite an Expected Goals (xG) score of only 5.6.
More that just goalscorers
Ten goals from 28 attempts is a pretty rosy return for Choupo-Moting, who is enjoying career-best form at the ripe old age of 34. Two assists further attest to his qualities in the final third, and there's no faulting his willingness to get stuck in. Physical and an all-round handful for opposition defenders, the Bayern forward has won some 53 percent of his attempted challenges, albeit - like Haller - only scoring the one header.
Watch: All Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's Bundesliga goals so far this season
Nicknamed a 'tackle monster' by Niko Kovac during his 24-goal spree at Eintracht Frankfurt between 2017 and 2019, Haller shares his 6'2" Bayern counterpart's robust streak. The Dortmund No.9 - unbeaten in his first 10 top-flight appearances for Die Schwarz-Gelben - was second league wide for challenges won in each of his previous two full seasons in the Bundesliga, and is currently prevailing in every other attempt to regain possession.
More impressive yet - not least in the context of what he's been through to get back into professional football - Haller trumps Choupo-Moting for distance covered per 90 minutes (6.8 compared to 6.1 miles). And for a striker who hit a league-high 21 Eredivisie goals for Ajax last season, he's never been flagged offside in a Dortmund shirt. Choupo-Moting, by contrast, has strayed on nine occasions. Fine margins, but it's those kind of details that will likely decide the closest title race in Bundesliga history.
Read more of our Klassiker comparisons here:
- Coaches: Thomas Tuchel vs. Edin Terzic
- Goalkeepers: Yann Sommer vs. Gregor Kobel
- Centre-backs: Matthijs de Ligt vs. Nico Schlotterbeck
- Midfielders: Joshua Kimmich vs. Jude Bellingham
- Captains and playmakers: Thomas Müller vs. Marco Reus
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The Bundesliga's remarkable testicular cancer survivors
Sebastien Haller became the fourth player to feature in this season's Bundesliga after winning a battle with testicular cancer.