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Mohamed Salah can help Liverpool ‘transformer’ reclaim rightful crown from surprise challenger



Mohamed Salah can help Liverpool ‘transformer’ reclaim rightful crown from surprise challenger

Alisson Becker came up against Bernd Leno in Liverpool’s first game of the campaign back in August, and he was one of the main reasons why the Reds managed to avoid losing the bout, with the scores ending 2-2.

Since that date, the Brazilian goalkeeper has established himself as the best shot-stopper in England, proving to be one of the very few to perform to a consistent standard at Anfield this term.

Jürgen Klopp’s men have been ranked around sixth to eighth in the Premier League table all season, but Alisson has been one of the few shining lights. Signed as a ‘transformer’ for a world-record transfer fee back in 2018, he’s proved to be worth every penny on Merseyside.

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On Wednesday night, he will come up against Leno once again, but it is curious that over the past week, the Fulham goalkeeper has actually overtaken him in one specific department. Alisson’s shot-stopping can be captured using the numbers beneath the surface, with the South American generally performing out of his skin over the past 12 months.

So far this season, he’s faced 136 shots on target in the Premier League, and those shots have been worth around 47.7 expected goals, yet he’s conceded just 40 times — excluding own goals — with those figures essentially suggesting that he’s overperformed the average by roughly 7.7 goals.

In simple terms, if a perfectly average goalkeeper had faced the same shots that Alisson has faced, the Reds would have likely conceded around seven or eight goals more than its actual total, and that figure was even higher before Liverpool conceded three times in its weekend clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

Before Sunday’s bout with Spurs, Alisson placed at the top of Europe’s top five leagues with his numbers this season, ahead of Union Berlin’s Frederik Rønnow placed in second, followed by Fulham’s Leno and Barcelona’s Marc-André ter Stegen, but things have now changed.

Leno leapfrogged Alisson over the weekend after saving slightly more than expected in his team’s clash against high-flying Manchester City at Craven Cottage. The German goalkeeper, who was sold by Arsenal and replaced by Aaron Ramsdale not long ago, is now the man to beat between the sticks, and on Wednesday night he will visit Anfield.

Liverpool is scheduled to host Fulham midweek, which means the likes of Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Darwin Núñez and Luis Díaz have an opportunity to help their goalkeeper by finding the net in the game and having an impact on Leno’s impressive underlying figures.

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It is undeniable that Alisson is the better goalkeeper overall, and he’s proved as much since his arrival on English shores. Dating back to the start of the 2018/19 campaign, he’s overperformed expectations by around 15 goals, whereas Leno has overperformed by around 12.3 goals, and it is also worth noting that he’s a more capable passer and sweeper.

This season, however, the Cottagers goalkeeper ranks at the summit when it comes to making saves. The pair are set to clash in a heavyweight bout on Merseyside in midweek, and Alisson will hope to showcase exactly why he is undisputed as the Premier League’s best.


“Go and get the next best”- Michael Owen names Liverpool’s Jude Bellingham alternative

Michael Owen have urged Liverpool to launch a move for Declan Rice if they fail to sign his England international teammate Jude Bellingham this summer.

The Reds were heavily linked with a reported Premier League record move for the Borrusia Dortmund midfielder but pulled out of the race to secure his signature this summer due to his enormous price tag believed to be over £120m.

Speaking to Daily Mail, as cited by Anfield Watch’s Twitter account, Owen believes Liverpool should look to snap up Rice when the transfer window opens, with the midfielder set to leave the London club at the end of the season.

“[If you can’t get Jude Bellingham], go and get the next best, try to get Declan Rice or get someone else who is of a top standard.”

Rice has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, while the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea have also been credited with an interest. The England international will not come cheap, with West Ham manager David Moyes confirming to Daily Mail that interested teams will have to pay in excess of £100m to sign him.

“Undoubtedly he’s going to be a top player and undoubtedly he’ll be a British transfer record and more whenever he leaves West Ham. I hope he sees out his time here. But look, there’s a lot of talk about it and when you see what’s going about for the prices, I think Dec will be blowing that British record out of the water, that’s for sure, when it comes around.”


Declan Rice is an outstanding young midfielder who has shown his class for club and country in recent years. Additionally, as an England international, he’d count as a homegrown player, which ticks another box for Liverpool. The likes of James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams could all be offloaded this summer, so the Reds will surely be on the lookout for players who can satisfy the homegrown quota.

The 24-year-old is primarily a defensive midfielder who can also be deployed as a #8. so there’s no doubt he’d be an interesting option to ponder. However, it remains to be seen if Liverpool splurge a large part of their transfer kitty on one player after walking away from a deal for Bellingham due to the same reason.