Liverpool's Mohamed Salah predicted to end season with record-breaking Premier League haul

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Singing in the rain: Mohamed Salah

In a 38-game Premier League season three players hold the joint record for most goals scored in a single campaign.

Alan Shearer (Blackburn; 1995/96), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United; 2007/08) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool; 2013/14) all plundered 31 times, but that record is in serious jeopardy.

Mohamed Salah’s four-goal haul in Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford on Saturday moved the Egyptian onto 28 goals for the season – it’s March and there are still seven games to go.

The question now is not if he will break the record, but by how much.

With that in mind, our team of writers make their predictions for Salah’s end-of-season tally.

TOM BIGGS = 35

Crystal Palace (A): 1

Everton (A): 0

Bournemouth (H): 2

West Brom (A): 0

Stoke (H): 1

Chelsea (A): 1

Brighton (H): 2

There’s no doubt Salah will smash the 38-game season record. Even with Liverpool’s Champions League involvement, which could see the Egyptian afforded a couple of rests when it comes to league action by manager Jurgen Klopp, Salah will surpass Ronaldo, Suarez and Shearer’s impressive feat when Liverpool take on Stoke City at Anfield in late April. Not only that, Salah will also just about do enough to beat the 42-game season record of 34, with strikes coming against Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Chelsea, as well as braces at home to Bournemouth and Brighton, to take his final total to 35.

BRENDON NETTO = 37

Crystal Palace (A): 1

Everton (A): 0

Bournemouth (H): 3

West Brom (A): 1

Stoke (H): 1

Chelsea (A): 1

Brighton (H): 2

Given his astonishing level of consistency this season, Salah fully deserves to smash the record which he should do with plenty of time to spare. Liverpool do still have the Champions League to contest but that may not be the case for much longer having drawn Manchester City in the quarter-finals. As such, the Egyptian may not miss much league action while the Reds have attractive fixtures in their run-in. At least one more hat-trick on the cards.

MATT MONAGHAN = 35

Crystal Palace (A): 1

Everton (A): 0

Bournemouth (H): 2

West Brom (A): 0

Stoke (H): 3

Chelsea (A): 1

Brighton (H): 0

When you do the maths on Salah’s punishing debut season, he’s currently running at an incredible 0.9 goals per game in the Premier League. With seven matches left in the season, the averages show the prolific Egypt star will add 6.5 more to his tally in the fixtures to come. He’s earned the right to have this number rounded up, so I’m backing him to get seven more – the highlight being a hat-trick to relegate Stoke with three games left.

ALEX REA = 34

Crystal Palace (A): 1

Everton (A): 0

Bournemouth (H): 2

West Brom (A): 1

Stoke (H): 1

Chelsea (A): 0

Brighton (H): 1

Salah is on fire, and Liverpool should hope someone puts him out before Real Madrid are alerted. With every blazing performance the 25-year-old inches closer to the Spanish capital but at this point, and with the Reds’ run of fixtures through to May, it’s unlikely to end. Salah has only failed to score against two of Liverpool’s last seven opponents (Brighton and Crystal Palace), plundering six in the other five. He could theoretically be rested for the Merseyside Derby with the trip to Everton sandwiched by the Manchester City tie but the only other fixture he could draw a blank in is at Stamford Bridge.

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Everton star Cenk Tosun thanks Duncan Ferguson after brace against Stoke

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Four goals in three games for Tosun.

In-form forward Cenk Tosun has credited ex-Everton striker Duncan Ferguson with kick-starting his Toffees career following his brace at Stoke.

Tosun took his tally to four goals in three games with a pair of second-half efforts in a 2-1 victory over the Potters that earned Sam Allardyce‘s side their first away victory since December 13.

Tosun was not with the team then and he has taken some time to find his feet in England following a big-money January switch from Besiktas.

However, having been left out of the starting line-up for four straight games by Allardyce, Tosun has rediscovered the scoring touch he showed in his native Turkey and feels Ferguson, a first-team coach who scored 68 Premier League goals, is part of the reason why.

“I am very happy because of the two goals and the three points,” Tosun said in quotes published on evertonfc.com.

“It was very important to win so I have to thank my team-mates. They were great in this hard weather, which made things really difficult, especially in the first half. But it improved in the second half and we played better as well.

“I work on my game after training with Duncan Ferguson. He was a legend of Everton and he has helped me a lot. We work together on my physique and on my shooting so I can do better on the pitch.

“Physically I feel better and I have settled in to the Premier League and England so I feel better on the pitch as well.”

For all Everton’s serious investment last summer, they failed to find a prolific striker to replace Romelu Lukaku following his sale to Manchester United.

It was hoped Tosun would fit the bill and after an underwhelming start the 26-year-old believes he is now getting up to speed with English football.

“I came to a league that continues – we had a winter break in Turkey so I was not physically 100 per cent when I arrived,” Tosun explained.

“I worked on that and now I feel sharper and better and can show more on the pitch.”

Tosun’s goals ensured Everton moved up to the 40-point mark and well away from the relegation zone they flirted with prior to Allardyce’s appointment in November.

Paul Lambert 2

Yet Stoke remain in the drop zone and three points adrift of safety having slipped to a home loss where they played the final hour with 10 men following Charlie Adam’s dismissal.

The midfielder lunged in on Wayne Rooney in the snowy conditions and caught him with the studs of his left boot.

Potters boss Paul Lambert had no issue with the red card and is unlikely to contest the suspension by appealing against referee Martin Atkinson’s decision.

“I’m not sure whether an appeal would get you anywhere,” Lambert admitted in an interview with Stoke City Plus.

“Because the studs were up, that’s the problem with that. From the referee’s point of view, he’s probably get a better angle than most, or you’d like to think he has.

“I can understand why he gave it.”

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Mohamed Salah is a joy to watch says Liverpool defender Joe Gomez

Carl Markham 18/03/2018
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What a season: Mohamed Salah.

Defender Joe Gomez admits Liverpool‘s players enjoy watching forward Mohamed Salah in full flow as much as their fans do.

The Egypt international became the first Reds player since Luis Suarez in December 2013 against Norwich to score four times in a game as Watford were demolished 5-0 at Anfield.

Salah is close to recreating the magic effect the Uruguayan had over the team when they almost won the league in 2013-14 and he is just three away from Suarez’s total of 31 league goals in a single season, having already taken his tally in all competitions to 36.

The first and third goals of his first Reds hat-trick had a Lionel Messi-like quality to them; dumping Miguel Britos on his backside for the opener before sneaking in a shot through a crowd of players while falling over for the third.

Asked what effect Salah, who also provided the assist for Roberto Firmino’s audacious backheel through his legs for Liverpool’s third on the night, has on the team Gomez said: “It is indescribable.

“The goals he brings are invaluable and he is just so good to play with. It was a pleasure to be out there,” he told LFCTV.

“He’s a special player; he is special to watch and I think we on the pitch enjoy it as much as the fans do.

“The fact he has so many assists (nine in the Premier League) shows he is bringing more than just his goals.

“He’s a positive person and a great guy to be around. He just gets on the ball and does what he does.

“He complements the team so well with Bobby (Firmino) and Sadio (Mane) and the front three anyone in the world would fear them. They all showed their quality in different ways.”

Firmino’s 23rd of the season marked the best goalscoring campaign of his career, beating the 22 he managed in 2013-14, and while Mane did not get on the scoresheet it was another performance which showed he is starting to rediscover the form of last year.

Liverpool have now scored 206 goals in 99 Premier League matches under Jurgen Klopp but Salah’s hat-trick was the first of his reign in the league.

That shows how the goals have been shared around and Klopp was keen to point out how the combined efforts and talents of the players is paying dividends.

Jurgen Klopp 10

“You need always someone who brings the ball over the line but I have to say it again Sadio looked so mature, so cool on the ball, and yet a few weeks ago he had a few fights with himself,” said the German.

“Then in a 5-0 you speak about a striker and his defensive work-rate but what Firmino did – ask other teams if they like to have him on their back.

“In no other games (does this happen) – only the number nine of Liverpool is chasing you.”

Watford boss Javi Gracia has only a handful of players away on international duty next week so will look to put things right after shipping eight goals to Liverpool and Arsenal.

“We have time to work and speak about the last two games,” he said.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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