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Salah v Kane: Who's the value in the Premier League top scorer betting?

Premier League Top Scorer Betting: Mo Salah or Harry Kane?
Premier League Top Scorer Betting: Mo Salah or Harry Kane?

Who's ready for a showdown?

It's Christmas next week (somehow) and the Premier League, or more so its partnering broadcast platforms, have treated us all to an early present - a midweek helping of top-flight action. All 20 teams are in action between Tuesday and Thursday, with the standout fixture undoubtedly Liverpool v Tottenham on Wednesday night. 

Jose Mourinho's title-hopefuls currently sit top of the pile after an impressive start and look as though they could finally go the distance and win the league next May, while injury-ravaged Liverpool - who sit second on goal difference heading into this clash - are doing extremely well considering how many of their key players are sidelined. 

While the result of this match will determine who enters Gameweek 14 top of the Premier League, it is a more specific battle that I am focussing on here, as Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane lock horns, with both looking to trump their respective counterparts in order to gain a foothold in the race for the 2020-21 Golden Boot award.

Liverpool’s talismanic forward Mo Salah currently sits second in the Premier League top scorer chart with 10 goals his name, while Tottenham’s Harry Kane - who has focussed mainly on turning provider with 10 assists so far - has a very healthy seven goals heading into this game. 

Both players are 7/2 in the Premier League top scorer betting with most firms, although Kane can be backed at a slightly longer 4/1 with 888sport. But who is the value selection? While there is still a long way to go and plenty of other players in contention for the coveted award, I’ve taken a look at these two players especially ahead of Wednesday’s showdown to try and figure out who is the better selection.

Salah & Kane's odds for Wednesday's game:

  • Salah to score first (anytime): 7/2 (11/10)
  • Kane to score first (anytime): 5/1 (7/4)
  • Salah 1+ SoT (2+): 1/7 (4/6)
  • Kane 1+ SoT (2+): 1/3 (6/4)
Salah Kane
Premier League top scorer betting

Kane more complete under Mourinho, but will this hinder him?

So, as touched on above it is Salah who currently has a three-goal lead on his north London counterpart, but that is mainly due to Liverpool receiving three more penalties than Tottenham up until this point. Salah has converted all five spot-kicks the Reds have been awarded, while Kane also has a 100% record from the spot, scoring two. 

Under Jose Mourinho we have seen Kane’s game transformed. The England captain is now acting as a playmaker as well as a final destination in Tottenham’s new-found set-up which relies so heavily on a rapid transition and ruthless counter-attack. With 10 assists to his name this season, more than quadruple the amount he finished last season with (2) and more than double his season-total from 2018-19 (4), it’s clear how much Kane’s purpose has changed this time out. 

It hasn’t hindered his effectiveness in front of goal, either. Kane has notched seven goals himself with only two of those coming from the spot, largely thanks to the blossoming partnership he has formed with teammate Son Heung-min, with the pair now linking up for 11 goals in just 12 games this season, taking their tally to 32 combined goal combinations since 2015 - second only to Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba's record of 36 in the Premier League Hall of Fame. 

However, with the fact that Kane’s role in this Tottenham side is now to be more of a creative spark in the final third rather than just an out-and-out goalscoring machine, there is a chance that he could fall behind his peers in the top scorer chart. Early indications suggest that he will perhaps finish the campaign having supplied more goals than he scores himself. Equally as important for Spurs, not so good for Kane’s chances in this particular market.

Klopp can’t afford to rest Salah

For Salah it has been a case of more of the same. So often the Egyptian is relied upon to carry his team forward and this season more than ever it has been a pivotal requirement. It’s no secret that Liverpool have been thwarted by severe injuries to a number of their key assets, and that list has grown in the past week with the news that Diogo Jota will now be ruled out for the next two months with a knee injury. 

While this is a blow to Liverpool it only serves to enhance Salah’s potential in the top scorer market. Jurgen Klopp is usually reluctant to rest the Egyptian due to his influence on the side but over a jam-packed festive period we may have seen him rotate the 28-year-old to ensure he remains fresh into the new year. 

This year, though, that is simply not an option, and Salah’s importance is now greater than ever to a team who cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to remain in the race for the title. With games approaching thick and fast over Christmas - four matches until the year is out - Salah will need to rally the troops and make sure that his side bounces back from the disappointing performance against Fulham at the weekend and I thoroughly expect him to add to his tally before 2021 is welcomed in.

Liverpool v Tottenham Odds

Kane’s record with injury could prove costly

Kane’s injury record is something to be considered when comparing these two players.  Usually within the opening months of the new year due to him playing so regularly for Spurs both in Europe and domestically, Kane picks up an injury which rules him out for a considerable period of time. 

It’s happened throughout the last three seasons to varying degrees, with last season’s hamstring tear sustained against Southampton on New Year’s Day ruling him out for two months, which saw him miss a total of 14 games and subsequently fall behind in the race for the Golden Boot. 

Kane has already played the full 90 minutes in every single one of Spurs’ league matches this season, barring the Southampton match in September where he was substituted on the 84th minute, while he has played a further 303 minutes in the Europa League. This proves just how much the 27-year-old is relied on by Mourinho and comes as no surprise, it was exactly the same with Pochettino at the helm; essentially he is just too important to lose. 

It is the same situation with Salah at Liverpool, but the Egyptian has so far been incredibly lucky with injuries - missing just two matches with a knock since joining the club from Roma in 2017 - which does fill you with more confidence that he will be able to retain fitness and stay injury-free this season and therefore seems like a better option in the PL top scorer betting. 

One thing is for sure, it's certainly going to be a tight race and Wednesday's game will be vital on which player prevails. Should Salah score and Kane fire a blank, he will distance himself from the Englishman. Vice versa, and things will really start to heat up.

Premier League top scorer odds

Erling Haaland
Harry Kane
Ivan Toney
Marcus Rashford
Mohamed Salah
Gabriel Martinelli
Odds correct as of 2023-03-28 09:16 Odds subject to change.
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