Luis Suarez: Is Liverpool Striker Going to Win the Premier League Golden Boot?
Luis Suarez scored his third Liverpool hat-trick with a treble in the 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic in the Premier League to take his total for the season to 21 in the league and 28 in all competitions.
His three strikes, plus the earlier headed goal from Stewart Downing, sent Liverpool back up to seventh place in the league table as they look to secure a top-six place and seal Continental football again next season.
Central to most of their success this term has been the form, in open play and in front of goal, of Suarez.
Having been criticised at times last term for missing too many chances, Suarez is now the Premier League's top goalscorer, two clear of Manchester United's Robin van Persie. With only 10 league games remaining, he looks to be a good bet for the Golden Boot award.
Suarez now has a 13.5 percent conversion rate for the season in the league, much improved from last season. At his present rate of shots per game, projected forward he can expect to finish the campaign with a total of 28 goals.
That total would be enough to take the Golden Boot in eight of the seasons since 2000, but with Robin van Persie perfectly capable of emulating his total of 30 goals from last season, he can't be too sure of personal success in that area just yet.
However, despite van Persie playing in an admittedly better side who have won more games and scored more goals than Liverpool, Suarez may have one advantage; United have almost certainly wrapped up the league title and remain hopeful of European success too.
It is possible therefore that van Persie could be rested for some future league games to keep him fresh and fit for Continental competition. Then again, Suarez has already shown he doesn't have to fear the Dutchman being played every game and is still continuing to improve.
His first 45 games for Liverpool resulted in 16 goals.
The 45 games since then have resulted in 33 goals.
Suarez is arguably the most in-form forward in Europe, let alone in just England, and as of this weekend, he is the top scorer in the top flight.
Don't bet against him retaining that spot until the end of the season and becoming the first Liverpool player to win the Golden Boot outright since the inception of the Premier League.
Stats from WhoScored.com and LiverpoolFC.com.
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