Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Sadio Mane will miss tonight’s clash with West Ham United due to sustaining a minor muscle tear in the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers. In Mane’s absence, it is last season’s joint Premier League golden boot winner Mohamed Salah’s responsibility to step up and fill the void left by the Senegalese winger’s absence. However, the Egyptian must end a recent barren run he has been suffering in order to do so.
Salah has now gone nine games without scoring in the capital, having previously found the back of the net in all of his first four London appearances. No side in the Premier League have accumulated fewer points than the Hammers’ 11 at home this term in the league, so the fixture presents the two-time golden boot winner with the perfect opportunity to end his unwanted streak. Only Aston Villa, Norwich City and Southampton have conceded more goals at home in the Premier League than West Ham’s 20 in 11 appearances during the 2019/20 campaign, so the Egyptian winger will not get many better opportunities to score in London.
His lack of goals in the capital has not stopped Salah from contributing elsewhere; in total the 27-year-old has 11 strikes in 20 Premier League appearances this season, along with five assists. Although, Liverpool’s joint top scorer has recorded his worst strike rate, 0.55, since arriving at the club throughout this season. His ratio of goals per game has dropped with each year since his £34m transfer in 2017, after initially achieving the phenomenal strike rate of 0.88 in his debut campaign, followed up by 0.57 last term.
Currently, Salah is six goals off the pace Jamie Vardy has set in the race for the Premier League golden boot. Only Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer have previously won the award for three consecutive seasons, so if the 27-year-old were to lift the title, he would be amongst a prestigious group. One of the first steps to getting back amongst this season’s leading scorers would be to break his run of nine goalless games in the capital, and in Mane’s absence, he must amend this stat to continue Liverpool’s remarkable momentum in pursuit of the Premier League title.