THE BLOG

Player Focus: March Purple Patches - Forwards in Form

03/04/2014 12:47 BST | Updated 03/06/2014 10:59 BST

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March proved to be a profitable month for a number of the strikers across Europe's top 5 leagues, with WhoScored.com looking at those that have recently hit a purple patch at club level. There were as many as 12 players that scored in at least 4 league matches over the 31 days - an achievement that we felt was worth recognition.

Two of those, perhaps unsurprisingly, were Messi and Ronaldo. Given that this is a look at a number of players to have hit form in front of goal the duo have been overlooked due to the fact that they are so rarely out of it. The same could perhaps be said then of Diego Costa, in the current season at least, with the adopted Spain international taking his La Liga tally to 25 for the season courtesy of goals in four back-to-back matches in the Spanish top-flight.

Instead we move on to some players whose performances over the last month have peaked and while he's not a forward, the goalscoring exploits of Tobias Werner have come to the fore. The German has been largely overshadowed by his teammate on the opposite flank for Augsburg Andre Hahn this season, however, it's the left-sided man that stood out in March, scoring in 4 consecutive matches for the mid-table outfit.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga Bayer Leverkusen have struggled since the turn of the year, with their talismanic front man Stefan Kießling out of sorts over winter. The German, nevertheless, has returned to form of late, scoring in his last 4 appearances having netted just once in his previous 14 in all competitions beforehand.

Another man that has overcome a tough period this season is Mattia Destro, who is coming into form just at the right time ahead of Cesare Prandelli's World Cup squad selection. The young Italian forward has matched Kießling's feat of scoring in his last 4 appearances, with 14 of his 31 shots this season coming in those matches.

Rayo Vallecano's Joaquín Larrivey hasn't always been a shoo in for a starting berth this season but the Argentine's form of late has been a huge boost to the side battling against relegation. The 29-year old scored 5 goals (spread over 4 matches) in 6 appearances in March, each of which won his side the game, earning them 8 precious points in the process.

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The name Anthony Modeste won't be particularly fondly remembered by Blackburn Rovers fans but after a disappointing loan spell in England the Frenchman has gone on to prove himself in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim. 5 goals in 6 league appearances in March were enough to take the 25-year old's goal tally to 12 in a side that are so often the entertainers in Germany.

Growing links to Arsenal this week are little surprise where youngster Josip Drmic is concerned, with the Swiss international having now only scored fewer Bundesliga goals (16) than Mario Mandzukic this season. The 21-year old has scored 5 goals in his last 4 appearances - as noted in a recent player focus from WhoScored.com - and has an outstanding conversion rate of 30.8%.

Another player that is hitting form just at the right time as far as his World Cup hopes are concerned is Southampton's Jay Rodriguez. The 24-year old has the same record as Drmic having netted 5 times in his last 4 league appearances, culminating in a brace at the weekend, and he is now the second top scoring Englishman in the Premier League behind Sturridge.

Just ahead of Rodriguez here by virtue of having scored in 5 separate league matches last month, Gladbach's Raffael has been a revelation for the club since his summer arrival. The Brazilian has netted 15 times in the Bundesliga this season and picked up the WhoScored.com man of the match award in 3 of his 6 appearances in March.

Completing the list here with a magnificent 7 goals in 6 league appearances in March, the return from injury of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been a massive boost to Schalke. Jens Keller's side are in a direct battle for second place and will feel they can leapfrog Dortmund between now and the end of the season if the Dutchman stays fit and in form.

Which of the aforementioned players has impressed you the most over the past month? Let us know in the comments below

All statistics courtesy of http://www.whoscored.com where you can find yet more stats and player ratings.