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Football: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah 5/1 to win Champions League final Man of the Match

(Article originally published: 25/05/2022)

Mohamed Salah will have unhappy memories of the last time he faced Real Madrid in a Champions League final but bet365 make him their 5/1 favourite to walk off with the Man of the Match award on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old Egyptian heads the market with the tournament’s leading goalscorer Karim Benzema just behind him at 11/2 with Luis Diaz at 7/1.

Salah’s post-match interview against Villarreal had very much of a whiff of unfinished business in wanting to face Real Madrid over Manchester City, and although the Spanish giants touched 100/1 to qualify when needing snookers late on, he gets his wish and we make him favourite over Benzema in what could be a cracker in Paris.

Since 2001, the Man of the Match has been awarded to a player on the winning side in every final, and with Liverpool 4/7 to lift the trophy, your attentions might be best turned towards a red shirt in Paris.

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Though goalscorers feature heavily in the list of winners, it's not uncommon for a non-goalscorer to pick up the award.

Last season, N'Golo Kante's tremendous defensive display which kept Manchester City at bay saw him named Man of the Match.

The year before, Kingsley Coman, scorer of the final's only goal, picked up the award, while Virgil van Dijk was at his imperious best when Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0.

One slight anomaly was Gareth Bale in 2018, who came off the bench for a 30-minute cameo which included one of the greatest goals in the competition's history, proving enough for Man of the Match.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos were winners for Real Madrid in 2017 and 2016 - two more goalscorers, with Iniesta, who laid on Barcelona's first, winning in 2015.

Salah scored from the spot in 2019, and another goal on Saturday may well see another individual accolade.

Salah has confirmed he’ll be staying at Anfield next season and bet365 make him a 12/1 chance to score 30 or more Premier League goals during the 2022/23 campaign.

His output has certainly dropped following his electric start to the season, where he contributed to 25 goals in the 20 games before his AFCON break, compared to 11 in the 15 since, but a summer off may see the Egyptian revitalised, particularly with a mid-season break for the World Cup, where Salah will be absent.

Despite not being quite as hot in the second half of the season, Salah still reached 23 goals, and a repeat next season will see the 20-24 bracket land at 13/8. He's not surpassed 30 since his phenomenal debut season, but has surpassed 20 in all bar one - and even then he scored 19 - and it's hard to look past another strong haul next season.

Mo Salah 2022/23 Total Premier League goals:

14 or fewer - 6/1
15-19 - 9/4
20-24 - 13/8
25-29 - 7/2
30 or more - 12/1

By Steve Freeth

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