Bruno Fernandes could make Premier League history for Manchester United this season – but Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah will be out to stop him.
Salah currently leads the way in the race to win the 2020-21 Premier League Golden Boot with 17 goals to his name so far.
Fernandes is just one goal behind on 16, as is Tottenham Hotspur front man Harry Kane.
If the United ace does manage to overtake Salah and top the scoring chart, he would become the first midfielder to claim the Premier League Golden Boot.
Salah is chasing his third Golden Boot in England, having won it previously in 2017-18 and jointly in 2018-19, when he shared the award with team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
England international Kane has also won it twice before – in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Four others have done so while playing for United since the Premier League’s inception – Dimitar Berbatov (2010-11, jointly with Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez), Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08), Ruud van Nistelrooy (2002-03) and Dwight Yorke (1998-99).
Along with Salah, Fernandes and Kane, other contenders for this season’s top scorer prize include Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin (14 goals), Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford (13 goals), Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min (13 goals), Man City’s Ilkay Gundogan (12 goals) and – last year’s winner – Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (12 goals).
Fernandes might be encouraged by the fact that he has netted five goals in his previous eight league outings, while Salah has managed only two during the same period.
Ibrahimovic set to face Man Utd
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set for a reunion with Manchester United in the Europa League after the AC Milan striker returned to training on Tuesday.
Ibrahimovic was forced to sit out the first leg of the last-16 tie at Old Trafford due to injury, with the Rossoneri managing to earn a 1-1 draw against the Red Devils in his absence.
Milan could even have come away with a victory were it not for some poor finishing and a controversial VAR decision, but they will now likely have their star striker available for the return fixture at San Siro.
Ibrahimovic suffered a thigh muscle tear after featuring in Milan’s 2-1 win at Roma in Serie A on February 28.
The 39-year-old then missed subsequent domestic games against Udinese and Verona before being ruled out of the first meeting with United last Thursday.
He was also unavailable for selection during Milan’s 2-1 loss to Napoli at the weekend, but did manage to return to light training on Monday.
Ibrahimovic has since taken part in a full session with the first team, and Stefano Pioli will now have to decide whether or not to start him against the Red Devils on Thursday.
Zlatan’s history with United
Ibrahimovic took in a two-year spell at Old Trafford between 2016 and 2018 after joining the club as a free agent, winning three trophies along the way, including the Europa League and Carabao Cup.
The Swedish frontman scored 29 goals in 53 games for United in total, but eventually ended up leaving for a new adventure in MLS with the LA Galaxy after his progress was hampered by a serious knee injury.
How has Zlatan performed since re-joining Milan?
Ibrahimovic returned to Milan for a second spell at the club in January 2020, and scored 11 goals in his first 20 domestic matches to earn a one-year contract extension.
The veteran striker has been even more prolific this season, netting 16 times through 21 appearances in all competitions, but has also missed 20 games due to a combination of injuries and a positive coronavirus test.