A titanic Torjägerkanone tussle has already unfolded over the course of a fascinating 2019/2020 season, with Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner torturing opposition defenders at record rates.
The Pole may have bagged a Christmas No.1, but his German rival has already run him close; so which of these incredible goalscorers is the better marksman and who will end the season top of the charts? bundesliga.com pits the two frontmen against one another.
Going into the final matchday of 2019, it was the first time in Bundesliga history that two players had bagged at least 18 goals after 16 matchdays, with the Bayern Munich man on 19 strikes and the jet-heeled RB Leipzig striker just one back on 18.
Both were on the scoresheet again in their first outings of 2020: Werner struck a brace in Leipzig's 3-1 win over Union Berlin, while Lewandowski scored from the spot as Bayern overcame Hertha Berlin 4-0. As such it is the first time in Bundesliga history that two players have at least 20 goals after 18 rounds of matches.
Considering serial Meisterschale hoarder Lewandowski is eight years Werner's senior at 31, it on paper may look like the baton is soon to be passed. Quite the opposite, however, with the seven-time Bundesliga winner is in the form of his life and finally being recognised as the world's premier No.9.
His 20 league goals from 18 games have been bulked up by 10 from five in the UEFA Champions League, as well as one more in the DFB Cup. Those numbers are exceptional, even before you add in the fact that the Poland captain this season became the first player in Bundesliga history to reach double figures after the first six matchdays of a campaign and the first to score in each of the opening 11 games of a German top-flight season.
Did we mention that Lewy did all of this while carrying a groin injury that required urgent operation following Matchday 17?
Watch: Lewandowski and Müller under the tactical microscope!
These frankly ridiculous exploits in front of goal have seen Lewandowski move third on the Bundesliga's all-time top scorers list, his 222 goals only bettered by Klaus Fischer (268) and Gerd Müller (365).
That is one record of Müller's that should remain intact but Lewandowski has his eyes on others. Lewandowski fell just one short of his legendary Bayern predecessor's record as the only man to pass the 20-goal mark in a single Hinrunde.
While Lewandowski has stolen the show with his record-breaking efforts, Werner is hot on his heels. He too could have moved past Lewandowski and Müller for the most goals in the first half of a season, but had to make do with just an assist in victory over Augsburg on Matchday 17.
And for all the talk of Lewandowski possibly breaching Müller's long-standing single-season record return of a mind-blowing 40-goals in 1971/72, Werner must also be recognised as being in contention, having kept pace with the four-time Bundesliga top-scorer until now.
It seems as though the appointment of Julian Nagelsmann as Leipzig coach this summer has been central to Werner going toe-to-toe with Lewandowski.
Werner believes he has become "more versatile with Nagelsmann", while his coach is adamant that there is even more to come from the 29-time capped Germany flier.
Watch: How Timo Werner is scoring so many goals!
"I'm relatively certain that Timo will take a few more steps and become even more dangerous," said the 32-year-old tactician. And considering Werner is already scoring at the same rate as Lewandowski but even more clinically, the rest of the league should consider themselves well and truly warned.
Werner is currently scoring a goal every 75.75 minutes compared to Lewandowski's 79.55, while the former Stuttgart striker is involved in a goal every 58.3 minutes thanks to his six assists thus far, compared to Lewandowski's return of two assists meaning he has a hand in a goal every 72.3 minutes.
Further highlighting how well Werner holds up against Lewandowski is his conversion rate of a goal every 3.85 shots, as Lewandowski's still incredible conversion sees him on the scoresheet with every 4.15 attempts.
Watch: Werner's record-breaking day vs. Mainz!
The marked improvement in output from Werner has been underlined further by following up the first hat-trick of his career in the win over high-flying Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 3, with a triple-double of both goals and assists just seven weeks later against Mainz. Not only that, but Werner also became the third-youngest player in history to 75 Bundesliga goals after Gerd and Dieter Müller.
But even with this season's upturn in performance, the man himself clearly recognises that Lewandowski is still king.
"You can't score in all the matches, unless your name is Robert Lewandowski," Werner joked in November. "When I scored two goals in Berlin, he made two against Dortmund and I wondered when he will stop. He's currently in the same category as Ronaldo and Messi."
For now, Lewandowski shows no sign of relenting and the fierce competition provided by Werner will drive such a determined character to deliver even more.
Currently, the two are neck-and-neck but for how long is anyone's guess and the result is a battle for the ages between two supreme strikers, one only unenjoyable for those defenders tasked with facing up to them week-in, week-out.
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