Mo Salah’s Stats Say He’s On The Way To A Third Golden Boot
Mohamed Salah's two goals for Liverpool in their 3-1 win at West Ham helped the defending champions climb to third in the Premier League table.
It was their second successive win in the capital and came three days after they beat Tottenham by the same score.
On a personal level, Salah pulled away at the top of the race to win the Golden Boot award, an award he has won twice before.
The Egyptian is now three goals clear of the chasing pack which includes two-time winner Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy who took last season's accolade.
Kane and Vardy are both sidelined after picking up injuries recently as football fixtures continue to come thick and fast.
Kane will remain sidelined for Tottenham after picking up injuries to his ankles against Liverpool last week while Vardy is set to return to training shortly after undergoing a hernia operation.
Salah wasted little time in putting clear daylight between himself and the others by bagging Liverpool's opening two goals at the London Stadium on Sunday to move him to 15 for the season.
Salah's League Goals For Liverpool:
- 2017/18: 32 goals (1 penalty)
- 2018/19: 22 goals (3 penalties)
- 2019/20: 19 goals (3 penalties)
- 2020/21: 15 goals (3 penalties)
Kane will be stuck on 12 for a while and Vardy will resume his season on 11 when he makes his return.
Others in the chasing pack include Kane's team-mate Heung-Min Son (12), Leeds' Patrick Bamford (11) and Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin (11).
The smart money would be on Salah to claim his third Golden Boot award which would equal Alan Shearer's tally of three and move the 28-year-old to within one of Thierry Henry's record of four.
Salah's success at Anfield is remarkable considering his inability to score goals for Chelsea between 2014-16.
Jose Mourinho brought the Egyptian to Stamford Bridge from Swiss club Basel for £11m, but Salah struggled to nail down a regular place in the Blues team for the season and a half he was there.
Salah eventually ended up at Anfield via Fiorentina and Roma, and their loss has been Liverpool's gain.
Since pulling on the red shirt, Salah has become a Kop idol. In his first season, he netted 32 times in the Premier League and followed that up with 22 goals the next campaign.
Nobody scored more goals than him in those two campaigns and he was a deserved winner of the Golden Boot award, sharing the honour with team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2018/19.
He was denied a third straight Golden Boot last season when Vardy claimed his first accolade with Salah four goals behind the Foxes frontman.
But this season is set up to be Salah's time to shine once again. After 21 games, Salah has 15 goals to his name. It's two fewer than his tally in his first season at Anfield after the same number of games but two more than his total at this stage the following season.
Salah is a consistent scorer. He is not a forward who scores in bursts. The longest he has gone without scoring a league goal is six games which he has done twice in his Liverpool career.
Salah's Monthly EPL Goal Breakdown
In his first Golden Boot winning season, Salah scored 15 goals in his final 17 games.
The following season, he scored nine in the final 17 games while last season he also found the net nine times in the final 17 games.
Of the 88 league goals Salah has scored for Liverpool, 29.5% of them have come after February 1 so there is a very good chance he will finish this season strongly if history is anything to go by.
He will need an incredible four months to beat his record of 32 goals scored three seasons ago but he is well on course to register his second best total, needing just eight goals in his final 17 games to surpass his 22 goals in the 2018/19 campaign.
Kane cannot be ruled out of the reckoning as history has shown the Spurs striker scores a lot of his goals in the latter stages of seasons. In the two seasons he was the league's leading scorer, Kane scored 55 per cent of his goals after the start of February.
But how far behind Salah will Kane be when the England skipper is fit to return to action?
Since Salah returned to English football, Liverpool have faced 26 different opponents. Salah has scored against all of them with the exception of one.
Swansea are the only club who can say they shut Salah down for the 159 minutes he played against them when they met twice in the 2017/18 campaign.
Salah's Favourite Opponents:
- 9 - West Ham
- 8 - Watford, Bournemouth
- 7 - Southampton
- 6 - Crystal Palace
- 5 - Arsenal, Tottenham, Brighton
- 4 - Huddersfield, Newcastle
- 3 - Leicester, Man City, Leeds
- 2 - Chelsea, Stoke, Everton, Fulham, Wolves, Aston Villa
- 1 - Burnley, West Brom, Cardiff, Norwich, Sheff Utd, Man Utd
- 0 - Swansea
Sunday's double at West Ham was the 14th time he scored a brace of goals in a league game for Liverpool.
His hat-trick against Leeds on the opening day was his third hat-trick which includes a four-goal haul against Watford during his first season as a Liverpool player.
If the champions are to catch leaders Manchester City and retain their title, then Salah's goals will be crucial especially with the other forwards failing to deliver like they have in recent seasons.
Sadio Mane only has seven league goals, one more than Roberto Firmino and two more than Diogo Jota whose impressive start to the season following his transfer from Wolves was disrupted by injury.
Jota is due back very shortly which could see Jurgen Klopp rotate his squad.
With a third Golden Boot within his grasp, Salah hopes he gets to play as many minutes as he can and his manager knows his best chance of winning the title for a second successive season is to keep playing the prolific forward.
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