Premier League Logo

Race for Golden Boot: Can Salah be caught?

7 Jan 2022
Contenders for 2021/22 Castrol Golden Boot award

We look at the fight to win the Castrol award for top scorer, with rivals looking to close in on Liverpool star

A phenomenal first half to the season has put Mohamed Salah in the driving seat to win a third Castrol Golden Boot award as the Premier League's top scorer by a clear margin.

The Liverpool star holds a six-goal advantage over team-mate Diogo Jota, with Jamie Vardy a further goal back.

But Salah's participation at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) means he will miss at least two Premier League matches, giving the chasing pack the opportunity to reduce the Egyptian's lead. It also hurts his chances of reaching 30 goals in a season for the second time.  

Golden Boot contenders
Player Goals Next three PL fixtures
Salah 16 (AFCON), (AFCON), LEI (H)
Jota 10 BRE (H), CRY (A), LEI (H)
Vardy 9 EVE (A), BUR (A), TOT (H)
Antonio 8 NOR (H), LEE (H), MUN (A)
Dennis 8 NEW (A), BUR (A), NOR (H)
Raphinha 8 WHU (A), NEW (H), AVL (A)
Ronaldo 8 AVL (A), BRE (A), WHU (H)
Mane 8 (AFCON), (AFCON), LEI (H)
Smith Rowe 8 TOT (A), BUR (H), WOL (A)
Son 8 ARS (H), LEI (A), CHE (A)

With Sadio Mane also at AFCON representing Senegal, the onus on Jota to lead Liverpool's attack is bigger than ever as he enjoys his best-ever goalscoring season in the competition.

Jota first faces Brentford, against whom he scored in the reverse fixture, before a trip to Crystal Palace

Jota's only Premier League hat-trick to date came against Leicester City, who travel to Anfield in Gameweek 24, for Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2019. But the Foxes are the only team to have kept a clean sheet against the Reds this season. 

The hopes that Vardy had of picking up a second Golden Boot award, having won it in 2019/20, have been hit by a hamstring injury that is set to rule him out for up to eight weeks.

Dennis a menace

Of the seven players all tied on eight goals, Emmanuel Dennis looks to have the best short-term fixtures.

The Watford forward next faces Newcastle United, Burnley and Norwich City, who all sit just below the Hornets in the bottom three.

Newcastle and Norwich have conceded the most goals this season, with 42 apiece.

Michail Antonio has returned to form of late, scoring two goals in his last three appearances, and his West Ham United team have meetings with two of the bottom five sides over his next three matches.

Ronaldo to challenge?

There is strong pedigree elsewhere in the rest of the chasing pack on eight goals.

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo won the prize in 2007/08, while Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min scored a career-best 17 goals last season.

Both have netted four times in their last six matches, although Spurs head coach Antonio Conte has now confirmed Son will be out with an injury for two weeks.

Tomorrow: The battle for the Playmaker award

Latest News

More News: Latest News

Latest Videos

More Videos: Latest Videos