Liverpool visits Leeds United at the noisy and hostile Elland Road on Sunday, and it is a day that could be of significance for forward Mohamed Salah, who is in search of his 100th English Premier League goal.
All eyes will be on Elland Road and not only on the two Premier League bosses, Marcelo Bielsa and Jurgen Klopp but also the Egyptian King, Mohamed Salah; the Liverpool forward is on 99 goals and is one away from becoming the fifth-fastest player to reach the milestone – achieving the amazing feat in 162 appearances if he nets a goal against Leeds.
The real question is will Salah be able to do it on Sunday?
The encounter itself is predicted to be a high-scoring game and the Reds’ talisman has been in excellent form since the season kicked off – after three played he has scored two and has assisted another two.
Of the trio of Premier League features against Norwich, Burnley, and Chelsea, Salah has only come up blank once, that was in the Burnley 2-0 victory at Anfield. Despite not registering an assist or goal, he still managed to take five shots at goal, two hitting the target, two wide, and one stopped from going in.
This proves the Egyptian is hungry for more goals and will want to stay in and around first place of the Golden Boot race – and without a doubt – Leeds, despite playing at Elland Road, can be a place to target for Salah to reach the 100 mark and even go beyond.
Leeds off to their usual leaky start
Last season, Leeds was one of the most entertaining sides to watch in the top flight because of their free-flowing, attacking football. But it was not only because of this but also due to them having the tendency to concede a lot of goals, home or away.
In the first four fixtures of the 2020/21 campaign, which involved an opening game against Klopp’s men, Bielsa’s Whites scored nine goals but also conceded eight – four of them coming against Sunday’s visitors.
The man that was ever-present in that victory was Mo Salah, who scored an opening day hat-trick against the then newly-promoted Leeds. This season, it hasn’t been that much different for the West Yorkshire outfit, with them letting by eight goals in three games, the joint third-highest this season.
Salah will be relishing the chance to play against an open, attack-minded team and not a team that defends with a low-black system. He will count on the space in behind the defence and will try to exploit them on the counter.
In the game against Burnley, it was surprising to see Liverpoool use the tactic of hitting them on the break and it almost paid off every time they tried to counter-attack them. It could work effectively here as well.
If I was to predict what will happen in this game by taking the abovementioned and the number of goals in the last two meetings (eight goals scored between the two), I believe Mohamed Salah will get onto the scoresheet.
He will hit 100 goals and Liverpool will celebrate all three points in the process – this also because they will have all their Brazilian players eligible for selection.