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Liverpool players stay on top – Race to POTY

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@DaveTindallgolf‘s Race to the Premier League Player of the Year after Matchday 24.

1/ Virgil Van Dijk

(Last week: 1)

Not his best night in the 1-1 home draw with Leicester after an illness in the build-up but a quick scan of the Premier League table shows that Liverpool have conceded just 14 goals – five less than Man City. It’s helped the Red build a five-point lead at the top of the table and Van Dijk’s calm, imposing presence is a massive reason why the LFC backline has been transformed. A stat? Liverpool had conceded 29 goals after 24 PL games last season – over twice as many as this time around.

2/ Mo Salah

(Last week: 2)

Salah has a good record against Leicester but had a rare off-night at Anfield on Wednesday as the Foxes crowded him out. Still, a glance at the Golden Boot race shows that the Egyptian remains in top spot with 16 goals and he’s racked up seven assists too. A goal or perhaps a brace and I’d have considered promoting him to No.1 but for now he remains second.

3/ Raheem Sterling

(Last week: 3)

All in all, it wasn’t a great week for the leading contenders in the POTY race and Sterling’s Man City were on the wrong end of a shock defeat away to Newcastle. All looked good when Sterling helped set up the opening goal but, after that, he couldn’t get going. Lots of excellent stuff to this point though with 10 Premier League goals and seven assists.

4/ Eden Hazard

(Last week: 4)

Another of the leading contenders to fire blanks in midweek and he suffered a much worse night than the Liverpool and Man City players as Chelsea were thumped 4-0 at Bournemouth. Still, 24 games into the season and Hazard is the only player in the Premier League to have double figure tallies for both goals and assists – 10 of each.

5/ Leroy Sane

(Last week: 5)

I’m repeating myself now! Sane was also well shackled in midweek, failing to find his usual spark at Newcastle. It means the top five in my list remain the same as none did enough to deserve a rise. Sane’s numbers are excellent so far with eight goals and nine assists.

6/ David Silva

(Last week: 7)

The only player in last week’s top seven to provide either a goal or an assist. Even that was slightly unusual in that it came with his head rather than a dazzling piece of footwork as he nodded one back for Sergio Aguero to fire home. His form has been silver rather than gold of late so I can’t find him a place in the top five.

7/ Paul Pogba

(Last week: 8)

Manchester United’s winning streak finally ended at home to Burnley but Pogba netted from the spot to register his ninth PL goal of the campaign and he’s been a key reason why they’re now just two points behind Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for fourth.

8/ Harry Kane

(Last week: 6)

He’ll inevitably fall down the standings whilst absent through injury and I’ll drop him two spots this week. For now, Kane will still feel he can win the Premier League golden boot as his 14 goals are just two behind Mo Salah.

9/ Aleksandar Mitrovic

(Last week: N/A)

The only player in a struggling side to be anywhere near the top places in the scoring charts. Mitrovic now has 10 (only four players have more) after his double in Fulham’s come-from-behind 4-2 win over Brighton and his presence, energy and eye for goal give the Cottagers hope that all may not be lost this season. He returns to the top 10 for the first time since Week 7.

10/ Sadio Mane

(Last week: N/A)

Mane started the season on fire and held top spot in the charts in Weeks 1 and 4. The Reds frontman has flitted in and out of the top 10 in recent times but he’s “in a good moment” again as boss Jurgen Klopp might say after netting in back-to-back games against Crystal Palace and Leicester to move into double figures.

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