Top five strike partnerships

Sports Mole takes a look at five of the best strike partnerships in world football over the last 20 years.

With Liverpool's deadly strike partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez getting past the 50-goal mark for the season on Wednesday night with 51 from 56 combined, there is no doubt which is the most successful pairing in the Premier League this season.

Their incredible record got Sports Mole thinking about the best strike partnerships in history. Here, we settle on five of our favourites from recent memory in the Premier League and international football.

1. Romario and Bebeto (Brazil) - 94 goals, 145 combined appearances

The real key to a successful strike partnership is knowing the other striker as much as you know yourself. Romario and Bebeto had a telepathic understanding on the football pitch, which led to Brazil winning everything under the sun during their spell together, with the pinnacle of their time being the 1994 World Cup in USA. On the way to Brazil's fourth World Cup title the deadly duo struck eight times between them to leave other nations with very little chance of matching them.

2. Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal) 266 goals, 610 combined appearances

It is no coincidence at all that Arsenal enjoyed their most successful period in their Premier League history when Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp were paired together up front between 1999 and 2006. The Frenchman had been successfully converted from a winger to a deadly striker, while Bergkamp operated in the number 10 role to deadly effect. At their best they were unstoppable and between them enjoyed 266 goals for the Gunners. There have not been many, if any, better understandings since.

3. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke (Manchester United) - 129 goals, 285 combined appearances

On paper, this partnership should not have worked. Both were a similar, goal-scoring type of striker and neither was regarded as being genuinely world class. However, when they were put together between 1998 and 2002 for Manchester United, things just clicked. They were a huge part of the treble-winning 1998-99 season and it was again that they had a natural understanding where they each knew where the other was. They scored at nearly a goal a game together, which is a fantastic ratio.

4. Grafite and Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg) - 125 goals, 218 combined appearances

How current Fulham manager Felix Magath could do with a prolific strike partnership such as Grafite and Edin Dzeko to help his fight against the drop. In the 2008-09 season with Wolfsburg he struck a winning combination with Grafite and Dzeko. It was again not the most likely of prolific partnerships but the pair scored some two thirds of their team's goals as they lifted the league title for the first time in their history. That feat alone deserves to put them into the conversation for any top strike partnership.

5. Ivan Zamorano and Marcelo Salas (Chile) - 59 goals, 103 combined appearances

For quite a few years Ivan Zamorano And Marcelo Salas did not have a stage to exhibit their talents to the world, but at the 1998 World Cup Chile qualified and they wasted no time showcasing themselves. The two scored 23 goals in qualifying for the tournament proper, and once there Salas added another three as Chile made the last 16. They were a partnership who loved to play football and just wanted to entertain the crowd.

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Jordan Henderson during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Sunderland at Anfield on March 26, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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