Pay it 'forward': Five best striker duos in EPL history
Today former Dutch footballer Dennis Bergkamp celebrates his birthday. Besides being a star player for his national team he was known for his brilliant combination with Thierry Henry at Arsenal during his English Premier League stint. Today we give you five of the most successful strike partnerships to have graced the English top flight since it was launched in 1992.
Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry (Arsenal; 1999-2006)
A classic partnership, elegant number 10 Bergkamp and thoroughbred striker Henry linked up under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and inspired the club to a flurry of trophies. Bergkamp was never particularly prolific, but the Dutchman's vision and ability to weigh a pass made him a perfect partner for the jet-heeled Henry, who became the club's all-time leading scorer. They scored a combined total of 200 league goals during their time together in north London, notably inspiring Arsenal to an unbeaten title-winning season in 2003-04.
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool; 2013-2014)
The new 'SAS'. Sturridge's signing from Chelsea in January 2013 was seen as something of a gamble, but he proved an immediate success at Anfield, scoring 10 goals in his first 14 league games. Suarez's 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last season initially prevented them from playing together, but this term they have joined forces to sensational effect. With 31 goals to his name, Suarez came closer than ever to the Premier League record for a season of 34, jointly held by Shearer and Cole.
Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley (Newcastle United; 1993-1995)
Newcastle were promoted in 1993 and stormed to a third-place finish in their first season back in the elite which was largely due to the goals of Cole and Beardsley. The pair proved ideal foils for each other, with 32-year-old schemer Beardsley helping lithe 21-year-old Andy Cole plunder 34 goals and also finding the net 21 times himself. Their combined tally of 55 goals, scored over a 42-game campaign, remains a Premier League record.
Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton (Blackburn Rovers; 1994-1996)
Bankrolled by owner Jack Walker, Blackburn broke the British transfer record on two occasions to assemble a strike duo that would fire the club to the Premier League title in 1995. Shearer cost £3.3 million ($5.5 million, four million euros) from Southampton in 1992 and Blackburn shelled out £5 million to bring Sutton to the club from Norwich City, two years later. Nicknamed 'SAS', after the special forces regiment of the British army, they instantly hit it off, with Shearer scoring 34 goals and Sutton chipping in with 15 as Blackburn claimed a first league crown since 1914.
Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole (Manchester United; 1998-2001)
Cole's days at Old Trafford looked to be numbered after Man United paid Aston Villa £12.6 million to secure Yorke's services in 1998, but instead the pair struck up an extraordinary understanding. In their very first season they shared 35 league goals as Manchester United claimed a treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup trophies, and the following season they amassed 39 goals in a successful title defence. Their intuitive understanding was best demonstrated by a famous goal against Barcelona in November 1998, with Yorke dummying a ball from Roy Keane and then exchanging passes with Cole, who beat goalkeeper Ruud Hesp with an assured finish.