Will Harry Kane be beaten to the golden boot by Mohamed Salah?

Updated: February 27, 2018

If Harry Kane wins the Premier League Golden Boot this season, he will join Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry as the only player to win the accolade for three seasons in a row. In the last two years, his main challenger has been Sergio Agüero, but this time around, the prolific Argentine has been eclipsed by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who has found the net 23 times, leaving him just one goal behind Kane in the race for the title.

The Premier League official site recently presented some interesting analysis on the respective contributions of the two strikers to their teams. According to the figures, Salah’s goals have earned an extra 13 points for Liverpool, while Kane has helped Tottenham to pick up an additional 12 points this season. Both men will be crucial to their team’s chances of finishing in the top four, and fans considering a wager with Stakers.com on either side before the season is out will take care to factor in the form and fitness of Kane and Salah before betting.

Kane’s importance to Tottenham cannot be overstated. His 24 Premier League goals make up an astonishing 45 per cent of the team’s tally this season. In his absence, Spurs struggle badly to convert the chances they create, which underlines just how important it is for the club to retain his services this summer in the face of interest from Real Madrid.

While Kane is single-handedly spear-heading Tottenham’s Premier League campaign, he is benefiting from the team’s overall creativity. Eight of his goals have been provided by full-backs Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, while Dele Alli has provided four assists.

By contrast, Salah has a smaller share of Liverpool’s goal-scoring action. The flying Egyptian has been responsible for just over a third of the Reds’ goals this season, with Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino making significant contributions to the Liverpool total. Whereas Kane is indispensable to Spurs, Salah is one of three dangerous forwards in red shirts, emphasising Liverpool’s greater goal-scoring power. That nearly half of his goals have come in the final quarter of an hour of each half also emphasises the extent to which he benefits from Liverpool’s relentless attacking play that often causes opponents to tire in the closing minutes.

However, while Salah benefits from being part of a more potent attack, the evidence suggests that Kane is the more complete striker, which will stand him in good stead in the battle for the Golden Boot. Whereas all but three of Salah’s goals have come from his left foot, 18 of Kane’s goals have been divided equally between left and right foot, while he has also scored five with his head. And, while Salah doesn’t always take Liverpool’s penalties, Kane is the go-to man from the spot for Tottenham, handing him another potential source of goals.

Kane may also have an advantage with Tottenham’s remaining fixtures. He has an excellent record against the teams that Spurs will face before the end of the season, including Leicester City, against whom he has scored nine times in six meetings. He is also about to enter his most productive period of the season. During the month of March, Kane has averaged a goal every 67 minutes, which makes it his most successful month of the year.

Salah’s record against Liverpool’s remaining opponents is not as impressive. Going into the game against West Ham, Salah’s record in 11 previous matches against Liverpool’s remaining opponents was a modest eight goals. However, like Kane, there is some evidence that Salah is at his best in spring. During his time in Serie A, he scored 15 goals in 36 matches played during March, April and May, showing that he has Kane’s knack for upping his performance level at the business end of a campaign.

Can Salah beat Kane to the Premier League Golden Boot? With Liverpool in such free-flowing goalscoring form, he has an excellent chance, but what might count against him ultimately is the presence of two other major attacking options. Whereas Tottenham’s game plan is set up around feeding Kane with chances, Salah must scrap for his chances as part of a three-man forward line. It is probably also fair to say that Kane is the more balanced striker, capable of scoring with either foot, and has the advantage of taking all of Tottenham’s penalties. Salah is likely to push him hard to the end of the season, but in the end, Kane will probably prevail and join Shearer and Henry as one of the Premier League’s greatest strikers.

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