Mo Salah v Jan Vertonghen: The key battle as Liverpool face Tottenham

  Will Mo Salah or Jan Vertonghen come out on top when Liverpool host Tottenham on Sunday? We check the stats... It is

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Will Mo Salah or Jan Vertonghen come out on top when Liverpool host Tottenham on Sunday? We check the stats…

It is a game that could be crucial to both teams’ hopes of a top-four finish. Tottenham have won on only one of their last 23 Premier League visits to Anfield, but did win the reverse fixture 4-1 at Wembley in October.

The key battle is likely to be between Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen.

Salah has scored 14 goals in his last 14 Premier League appearances and is Liverpool’s top scorer in the competition this season with 19 goals in 24 games. He could become the fastest Liverpool player to score 20 goals in the Premier League era.

Fastest to 20 Premier League goals for Liverpool

Player Games taken
Daniel Sturridge 27
Fernando Torres 27
Robbie Fowler 37
Michael Owen 39
Stan Collymore 46
Luis Suarez 50

Salah has also been involved in more Premier League goals this season than any other player.

Players involved in the most Premier League goals this season

Player Team Goals Assists Combined
Mo Salah Liverpool 19 6 25
Sergio Aguero Man City 17 5 22
Harry Kane Tottenham 21 1 22
Raheem Sterling Man City 14 6 20
Kevin De Bruyne Man City 7 11 18

He has been particularly impressive at home, being involved in 19 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool at Anfield.

One reason for Salah’s contribution this season could be due to the number of times he has touched the ball in the opposition box. Only Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has touched it more.

Most touches in the opposition box

Player Team Touches
Raheem Sterling Man City 178
Mo Salah Liverpool 175
Harry Kane Tottenham 165

If Tottenham are to leave Anfield with a positive result, Vertonghen is likely to play a key role for a Spurs side with 11 Premier League clean sheets already this season.

Vertonghen has started all of Tottenham’s 25 Premier League games, playing the full 90 minutes in all but one of them. In fact, he has started their last 38 Premier League games since missing their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in February 2017. Swansea’s Alfie Mawson is the only outfield player on a longer run of successive Premier League starts.

So perhaps it is no surprise that Vertonghen leads the way for Tottenham in many categories.

Vertonghen in stats

Category Total Spurs rank
Clearances 108 1st
Headed clearances 55 1st
Interceptions 40 1st
Tackles 46 1st
Aerials won 81 1st
Duels won 165 1st

On Sunday, he will be looking to contain Salah and continue a recent run that has seen Tottenham go unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games.