ODSONNE EDOUARD and Alfredo Morelos have come flying out of the blocks so far this season, scoring goals for fun and leading their respective teams' attacks to great effect.

Celtic's French striker already has eight goals, three assists and a Scottish Premiership player of the month award at this early stage of the season, while Morelos has racked up 12 goals in all competitions since the season began.

With the two strikers starting the 2019/20 campaign in irresistable form, comparisons between the two great rivals' star forwards will always be made from either set of supporters. Rangers fans will always argue that Morelos is the better striker, while the Celtic fanbase will insists that Edouard is the top finisher in the country.

So, who's right? We've dug into the two players' stats in an attempt to answer that question.

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The graphic above compares Morelos and Edouard's stats per 90 minutes from the beginning of the 2017/18 season up to the present day. As we can see, the two strikers have a remarkably similar output, statistically speaking, in many key areas.

Morelos has the marginally better goals/90 ratio over the last two-and-a-bit seasons than his Parkhead counterpart, averages more shots per match and has a slightly better dribbling success rate. Edouard, meanwhile, leads the way in terms of his shot accuracy, assist creation and number of dribbles attempted.

Interestingly, Morelos and Edouard can barely be seperated in terms of the number of progressive dribbles - runs where the ball is carried at least 10 metres up the pitch - they complete on average, or their overall passing accuracy. In both of these metrics Celtic's 21-year-old forward has the edge, but this lead could not be narrower.

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When we dig a little deeper into the two forward's stats over the last few seasons, there are numerous points of intrigue to be examined. For example, take Morelos: his goal/90 rate of 1.11 is exceptional, and is comfortably the highest average that either player has posted during their time in Glasgow. We can see improvements in the Colombian's build-up play, too. The number of passes and assists that Morelos averages has never been higher, although his passing accuracy has dipped this campaign.

Going purely by these figures, we can see that Morelos is the more in-form striker at present. The 22-year-old is averaging more than a goal a game in all competitions this season - a truly outstanding rate - and while Edouard's goal/90 ratio is impressive, it is some way off Morelos'. It should be pointed out, though, that Edouard hits nearly half as many shots per game than Morelos does this season.

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By looking at the two strikers' expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes played, we can deduce whether each forward is over or under-performing. If a player's xG exceeds their goals/90, then it can be argued that they are spurning goalscoring opportunities that they should really be converting. Conversely, if a player's goals/90 is higher than their xG/90, then they can be said to be over-performing and are perhaps scoring more goals than they reasonably ought to. The larger the gap between the xG and goals scored, the more pronounced this becomes.

The chart above details Morelos and Edouard's goals and xG since the start of the 2017/18 season and the results make one thing abundantly clear: both players have been lethal for their respective clubs for the vast majority of their time in Scotland. Edouard's goal/90 ratio has always been comfortably greater than his xG, so the Frenchman can be said to be consistently over-performing in front of goal and making a habit of tucking away difficult chances. In Morelos' first season he probably should have found the net more regularly than he did but ever since, he has been scoring significantly more than he reasonably should.

The discrepancy between Morelos' goals scored and xG this campaign (0.2) is as large as it has ever been for either striker since 2017 and highlights the improvements the Colombian has made this season. And while Edouard has always out-performed his xG, this season he has managed to do so at an even better rate.

It is interesting to note that while Morelos has the better goal rate overall, Edouard is only slightly behind but with a significantly lower xG/90. Essentially, what this tells us is that while Morelos has a marginally better goals/minutes played ratio, he is converting easier opportunities than Edouard is. The Rangers striker may score more often, but Edouard is converting more low-probability efforts than Morelos.

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All of the figures previously cited have been taken from all competitions but strikers will often be judged by how much they contribute in matches where the stakes are higher against a greater calibre of opponent. This graphic details the number of goals that Morelos and Edouard scored in Europe and against last season's top six - including cup competitions - during the 2018/19 campaign.

A common criticism of Morelos is that he can occasionally go missing in the biggest games but as we can see, the data does not bear this out. Edouard played in more of these fixtures than Morelos did last season, yet scored fewer goals. The Rangers striker found the net 19 times in 34 appearances in these fixtures, while Edouard got on the scoresheet on 17 occasions in 37 games.

Both strikers scored twice in the group stages of last year's Europa League, while Edouard scored one more than Morelos in the qualifying rounds. This season, Morelos has eight goals to his name after the preliminary rounds - including four against minnows St Joesph's, admittedly - while Edouard scored three in this season's qualifiers; one against FK Sarajevo, one against Cluj and another aginst AIK in the Europa League play-off.

As it stands, Morelos is in better form than Edouard this season. The Colombian is scoring goals at a better rate than he ever has for Rangers, and is scoring more low-probability shots than ever before. We are still relatively early on in the season, though, and there is no question that Edouard scores from difficult situations on a more regular basis than Morelos does. Morelos needs more opportunities to score than his Celtic counterpart and attempts more shots on average, but in a tight game with few chances, Edouard is the better player to call upon. But if it is simply goals that you're after - the most important stat for any striker - then it is Morelos who is leading the way at the moment.