Top five Premier League strike partnerships

With Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in good form, Sports Mole selects five of the best strike partnerships in the history of the Premier League.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers sprung a debate at the weekend when he said this of his strike pairing Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge: "I am not sure there are two better in the league. Those two are right up there with the best in the country and you saw that against Sunderland."

The current trend in English football, by and large, is to operate with just the one frontman and support him with two or three creative midfield players.

However, in years gone by, the Premier League has been littered with clinical centre-forward partnerships similar to the one that Suarez and Sturridge have seemingly forged at Anfield. Below, Sports Mole has picked out five of the best.

1. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, Manchester United

During the summer of 1998, Man United had been linked with a host of strikers. Talisman Eric Cantona had retired in the previous summer and despite Teddy Sheringham's best effort in replacing the Frenchman, his nine-goal contribution was not enough.

Patrick Kluivert and Gabriel Batistuta were thought to be high up on Sir Alex Ferguson's wishlist, but he eventually opted to part with £12m for Aston Villa's Dwight Yorke. The Trinidad & Tobago international hit the ground running with two goals on his home debut against Charlton Athletic, but it wasn't until a trip to Southampton in early October of that year that his relationship with Cole started to blossom.

From that moment on the pair seemed to have a telepathic understanding - highlighted by the goal that Cole scored during a Champions League tie in the Camp Nou.

They were a major part in United's treble success of 1999, contributing 53 goals in all competitions. Together they won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a Champions League at Old Trafford.

2. Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, Blackburn Rovers

Suarez and Sturridge's recent exploits in front of goal may have seen them branded 'SAS', but Blackburn's title-winning strikers from the mid-1990s were the originals.

While their partnership may have only been at large for one term, it was a vital ingredient in unlikely Blackburn, managed by Kenny Dalglish, winning the title in 1995.

Sutton arrived at Ewood Park from Norwich City in the summer of 1994 with the weight of being English football's most expensive player (£5m) hanging around his neck. It didn't hamper him, though, as he plundered in 15 goals to accompany Shearer's 34. During that campaign, their power, strength and clinical eye for goal made 'SAS' the most feared combination in England.

However, the following season a loss of form and injuries meant that Sutton failed to score a league goal, while Shearer was sold in 1996 to his hometown club Newcastle United. A partnership that had promised so much had been dismantled.

A collage of former Blackburn Rovers strikers Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton.© Getty Images

3. Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Arsenal

Arguably the most gifted individuals among this selection of strikers. The duo played together at Arsenal for six years, scoring over 200 goals between them. While Henry bagged the majority of those, he would have reached nowhere near those heights without his Dutch partner in crime.

It's a statement that Henry acknowledges, having previously stated: "Whenever somebody was moving, Dennis would give them the ball - he was the master at that. I will always maintain it - Dennis is and always will be the best played I've ever played with." High praise indeed from someone that has played alongside the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Alessandro Del Piero.

The pair spearheaded Arsenal's 'Invincibles' side that went the entire 2003-04 campaign without losing a Premier League fixture.

4. Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn, Sunderland

The Black Cats may have won the First Division title in 1999 at a canter, but when they were thrashed 4-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the Premier League season that August, it looked as though their stay in the top flight was going to be short lived.

Step forward Phillips and Quinn - Sunderland's very own 'Little and Large', who would go on to help the Wearsiders defy the odds that term, just missing out on UEFA Cup football by finishing seventh.

Standing at 6'4", Quinn's presence would often demand the attention of two markers, which in turn left space for the deadly Phillips. The former England international scored 30 goals during the campaign, earning him the European Golden Boot - he is still the only English striker to have collected the award.

Irishman Quinn also played his part, finding the back of the net on 14 occasions. Such statistics were always going to be nigh on impossible to replicate, but the duo continued to find the net over the next two campaigns at regular intervals, sharing 38 goals.

A collage of former Sunderland strikers Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn.© Getty Images

5. Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler, Liverpool

In the two campaigns that they played together on Merseyside, Collymore and Fowler found the net 100 times in all competitions. To this day, their partnership is regarded by many to have been one of the most exciting in recent memory.

British record signing Collymore, who cost £8.5m from Nottingham Forest, often took on the role of creator, but he still scored 29 Premier League goals during his Anfield tenure. What's more, he also ousted Liverpool legend Ian Rush from the starting lineup.

His relationship with Fowler can best be summed up by that game between Liverpool and Newcastle in April 1996. The Reds won 4-3 thanks to two goals apiece from their strikeforce, with Collymore "closing in" to score a stoppage-time winner at The Kop End.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates a goal against West Bromwich Albion.
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