Mo Salah could become first since 1995 to record Premier League goal feat today

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Mohamed Salah could produce a goalscoring feat not seen in the Premier League in 25 years today, when Liverpool take on James Milner‘s former club Leeds at Anfield.

Salah has scored in Liverpool’s opening league game in each of his three seasons with the club.

He could be the first Reds player ever to do it for a fourth in a row and only the second Premier League player overall, matching Teddy Sheringham between 1992/93 and 1995/96.

In each opening game of a league campaign under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have scored at least three times (four at Arsenal, three at Watford and four in home wins over West Ham and Norwich).

They have never scored four or more in the first match of a league season in three successive years.

 

Newly Promoted Prowess

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 9, 2019: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring the third goal during the opening FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It will be the second successive season that Liverpool have met a newly promoted team in the first game of the league campaign, having beat Norwich here 4-1 last term.

They are unbeaten in last 28 home league games against newly promoted sides, winning 23 and drawing five. Klopp has won all 13 of his.

The Reds have not lost in their last seven opening fixtures of a campaign, with six wins and a draw since losing at West Brom in 2012.

Since losing to Blackpool in their first game back in the top flight in 1962, Liverpool have only once lost their opening-day fixture at Anfeld – to Chelsea in 2003 (2-1).

Of the others, Liverpool have won 22 with three draws.

 

Defending the Title

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 22, 2020: Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, James Milner, captain Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrate with the Premier League trophy and their winners' medal as the Reds are crowned Champions after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 5-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp will hope to become only the second Liverpool manager to successfully defend the league title.

Of all Reds managers only Bob Paisley, who won back-to-back titles on three occasions, has successfully defended the trophy.

Liverpool last began a campaign as league champions in 1990, also facing Yorkshire opposition – winning 3-1 at Sheffield United.

 

Leeds’ Return

This is Leeds’ first Premier League fixture for 5,964 days.

Their last game was on May 15, 2004, then they lost 1-0 at Chelsea on the final day.

They finished 19th that season and were relegated along with Leicester and Wolves, after appearing in each of the first 12 seasons of the Premier League.

During that campaign they fielded James Milner, Nick Barmby, Scott Carson, Dominic Matteo and Jermaine Pennant, all of whom have worn a Liverpool shirt.

Milner scored three league goals that season.

 

Milner’s Landmark Reunion

James Milner, Leeds United (Picture by Adam Davy EMPICS Sport)

Milner has only faced Leeds twice in his career and never in the league.

He played for Man City in their 4-0 FA Cup win in 2013 and as a sub for Liverpool in the 2-0 League Cup victory in 2016, but he has never faced Leeds at Elland Road.

The midfielder played 54 times for Leeds between 2002 and 2004, scoring five times. He has featured in all of Leeds’ last 30 Premier League games.

Today, he could play his 150th league game for Liverpool and could captain the club for the 50th time in the Premier League.

 

Today’s Referee

Michael Oliver took charge of Liverpool’s opening game of last season (vs. Norwich); it is his first game in charge of Leeds for four-and-a-half years.

 

Last Season’s Scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 26, 2020: Liverpool’s Sadio Mané (C) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the final match of the FA Premier League season between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St. James' Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 3-1 and finished the season as Champions on 99 points. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 23, Mane 22, Firmino 12, Oxlade-Chamberlain 8, Origi 6, Wijnaldum 6, Van Dijk 5, own goals 5, Henderson 4, Milner 4, Alexander-Arnold 4, Keita 4, Jones 3, Robertson 3, Fabinho 2, Matip 2, Hoever 1, Lallana 1, Lovren 1, Shaqiri 1

Leeds: Bamford 16, Hernandez 9, Klich 7, Harrison 6, Alioski 5, Helder Costa 5, Dallas 5, Nketiah 5, Ayling 4, Roberts 4, own goals 3, Cooper 2, Phillips 2, Shackleton 2, Berardi 1, White 1


* Statistics courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).

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