Premiership Golden Boot: Race Back On?

Gabe Morency

Saturday, April 7, 2018 1:26 AM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 7, 2018 1:26 AM UTC

The race to win the Premiership Golden Boot could be back on after Harry Kane returned from injury and Mo Salah limped off for Liverpool on Wednesday. The Egyptian leads Kane by five goals in.
<p>The race to win the Premiership Golden Boot could be back on after Harry Kane returned from injury and Mo Salah limped off for Liverpool on Wednesday. The Egyptian leads Kane by five goals in the league’s top scorer charts and he was expected to cruise to victory. But Kane returned from injury sooner than expected and he could enjoy plenty of chances in front of goal before the season is out. There are now fitness concerns over Salah, and he could be rested in the league as Liverpool have one foot firmly in the Champions League semi-finals.</p><p>Salah was at his irrepressible best as Liverpool swarmed all over Premiership leaders Man City to beat them 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash this week. He was full of energy, pace and dynamism, and he opened the scoring when he thumped an unstoppable drive past Ederson. It was his sixth goal in three games, and he has turned the Player of the Year award into a two-horsed race. City’s Kevin De Bruyne looked to have run away with it a month or two ago after emerging as the best player in the best team in the land. The Belgian has conducted the Man City orchestra with aplomb this season, displaying deft touches and razor sharp passes aplenty.</p><p>But Salah’s case grows more compelling with each passing week. He is a devastating attacking force, outrageously effective, and he has a goal every 86 minutes – a magnificent return for a wide player. The Egyptian is now even money with Bet Victor, 888 Sport and Unibet to be named Player of the Year, while De Bruyne has drifted to 4/5 with Sky Bet, so it is extremely close.</p><p>Salah is well ahead in the top scorer betting, priced at 1/12 with Bet Victor and 1/10 with Sky Bet, with Sun Bets offering a best price of 1/7. He has a better goals per games ratio than Kane, who is 13/2 with Sky Bet and 15/2 with Bet Bright to win the Golden Boot. But it is worth remembering that the England striker comes into his own towards the end of the season. Last year, he scored 10 goals in his last seven games, including seven in his last two matches. Tottenham still have seven games to play, while Liverpool have just six, so if he bags a couple in their game in hand he could be back in the race.</p><p>Kane will be keen to prove his form and fitness ahead of the World Cup, and it is hard to see Mauricio Pochettino leaving him out, even if they do have the FA Cup to contend with. Spurs are still in need of points to hold off the threat of fifth placed Chelsea as they bid to nail down a Champions League place for next season. Liverpool also need more points on the board, and Jurgen Klopp will have to unleash Salah on their opponents, if he recovers from the injury he sustained against City – which was written off as minor. But the Liverpool manager will surely be excited by the prospect of landing the Champions League, and you can imagine the players making that the chief focus of their energies.</p><p>That would open the door for Kane to get back into Golden Boot contention. He is irreplaceable at Spurs and everything goes through him in attack, so you would expect him to enjoy plenty of opportunities to add to his tally between now and the end of the season. There is value in backing him, and it is sure to tempt a few punters with just a month or so left of this gripping Premiership campaign.</p>
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