The race to be the top flight's top scorer should come down to three prolific forwards. Jack Green assesses which is the best bet.
With 17 games remaining in the Premier League season, the Golden Boot race will almost certainly come down to three prolific forwards.
No player has scored fewer than 11 goals after 21 games and gone on to win the Golden Boot since Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003, and 14 of the last 16 winners had scored at least 13 at this point in the season.
With Aubameyang and Kane currently level at the top of the charts with 14 goals, and Salah three clear of Eden Hazard and Sergio Aguero on 13, there’s no need to look past the current top three.
Aubameyang has been productive in the 12 months since he joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund, with 24 goals in 34 league games for the Gunners over the past year.
He is primed for a strong second half of the season, having bagged 10 in 13 to close out last term and 15 in the last 17 games of the 2016/17 campaign for Dortmund.
However, Arsenal’s place in the table – they’re currently fifth, four points off a Champions League spot – suggests the striker may struggle to keep up with the scoring pace of his rivals.
The last 18 Golden Boot winners have all played for sides that finished in the top four, so a safer bet is to side with a player from one of the league’s elite sides.
Kane clearly fits the bill, given that Tottenham are two points behind second-placed Manchester City and look very likely to secure a top-four spot this season.
The England captain is on a run of eight goals in his last nine Premier League appearances, and has stayed injury-free so far after missing spells in each of the past two seasons.
He’s also closed out seasons well in the past, having netted 16 in Tottenham’s last 17 games of the 2016/17 campaign.
Last season, however, Kane had 18 at this point, and slowed down towards the end of the campaign with 12 in Spurs’ last 17 matches.
That’s not a bad rate, of course, but a repeat performance this season would probably leave him trailing Salah in the Golden Boot race.
The Egyptian bagged 15 in 17 to top Kane by two goals last term, and has shown signs to suggest that a similar run is imminent with six goals in his last six league games.
Liverpool have scored 49 goals this season – three more than Spurs – and the amount of chances that they create should give Salah more opportunities to score than Kane over the remaining months of the season.
Their xG is the second-highest in the Premier League, and is significantly higher than Tottenham’s, who rank fifth.
While Kane has taken one shot more than Salah in the Premier League, the Egyptian is third in xG per 90 minutes among players who have made at least 15 appearances, with Kane some way behind in eighth.
Given that Tottenham’s reliance on Kane makes him more likely to pick up a knock, Salah is the better bet of the pair to finish the season with a run of goals and earn his second consecutive Golden Boot.
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