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Mo Salah’s opening-day magic to the test as Liverpool make history

Mohamed Salah will be looking to extend his outstanding opening-day record and top another Premier League chart as Liverpool visit Fulham this lunchtime.

Salah is the only Premier League player ever to score in the opening fixture in five consecutive seasons.

Salah goes into this game on seven opening-day goals – one vs. Watford, one vs. West Ham, three vs. Leeds and two in two openers vs. Norwich.

Only Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard (each with eight) have scored more in the Premier League era. Jamie Vardy also has seven.

Salah has only played five times (less than half of the appearances than all above him on the list played).

Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk has scored in two of the Reds’ last three opening-day fixtures.

 

A piece of history

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 14, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Today, Liverpool will become the first team in Premier League history to face a promoted team for the first time on the opening day in four successive seasons.

They played Norwich in 2019, Leeds in 2020 and Norwich again last season.

They were last beaten in their opening top-flight fixture by a promoted team in 1929 – losing 5-0 at Middlesbrough.

 

Opening-day success

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates after scoring the first goal from a penalty-kick during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United 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. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have won the last four opening weekend league fixtures, scoring 15 times in the process.

The last time they failed to win their first league fixture of a campaign was in 2017 when they drew 3-3 at Watford. Marco Silva was the Hornets’ manager.

They have won five and drawn one of the last six opening-day fixtures, scoring 22 times and never in that sequence finding the net less than three times.

Their last opening day loss came at West Brom in August 2012 – losing 3-0 in Brendan Rodgers’ first league game in charge.

Since then they have won eight and drawn one of nine.

 

Milestone men

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara (L) and Mohamed Salah after the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James Milner could make his 200th league appearance for Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Thiago could play his 50th league game for the Reds.

 

Ex-Cottagers

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Fábio Carvalho (R) celebrates with Harvey Elliott (L) after a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fabio Carvalho played four times for Fulham in the Premier League in 2020/21, scoring once – in a 3-1 defeat at Southampton.

Last season he scored 10 goals in 36 Championship appearances and netted in the Cottagers’ last home game – a 7-0 win over Luton Town.

In May 2019, Harvey Elliott became the Premier League’s youngest-ever player, aged 16 years 30 days, when playing for Fulham in an away defeat at Wolves.

He made three first-team appearances for Fulham – all as a substitute.

 

Fulham’s dangerman

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovi? during the Football League Championship match between Sheffield United FC and Fulham FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored 43 goals last season – a new record for the second tier, eclipsing Guy Whittingham’s 32 while with Portsmouth in 1992/93.

Mitrovic has scored 96 goals in 177 appearances for Fulham with 18 assists.

Last time out in the Premier League, however, he only started 13 of his 27 appearances, scoring three times.


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

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