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From Chelsea cast-offs to Premier League superstars
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One is the king of the assists, the visionary and orchestrator of perhaps the best club side to have ever played in England. The other is plundering an improbable, potentially record-setting amount of goals, with a playing style that has evoked comparisons with Lionel Messi.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah are English soccer’s two standout stars this season, seemingly going head to head for the country’s player of the w88 login year award. For many, it’s too close to call as to who has had the better season. Maybe the next six days will settle the argument. When Liverpool and City meet over two legs in the Champions League quarter-final, De Bruyne and Salah are likely to be their teams’ inspirational figures, the players their teammates look to most for a moment of magic.

Cast-offs by Chelsea three or four years ago, their profiles have changed somewhat now. Salah is the Premier League’s top scorer with 29 goals. In his first season at Liverpool since joining from Roma, the Egypt international has 37 goals in all competitions as well as nine assists. The close control, speed off the mark and jinking, slaloming nature of his goals make him the nearest thing to Messi in world soccer.

“Unbelievable,” De Bruyne said Tuesday, the day before the deposit w88 first leg at Anfield. “I think to score that many goals in a season is unbelievable. Nobody expected him to hit the ground running. Liverpool are an attacking force, the players up front [Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane] play so well together and score so many goals. But the way he did it is unbelievable.” Not that De Bruyne is faring too badly, himself. With a Premier League-high 15 assists this season, the Belgium midfielder is held up as shining light in Pep Guardiola’s team of superstars, the Spanish coach’s eyes and ears on the field.

Operating in a more withdrawn role in central midfield this season is getting the best out of De Bruyne thanks to his tireless running, vision and ability to control matches. “It’s probably the most complete,” De Bruyne said, when asked to compare this season with others in his career. “The thing I am most happy about is that I can play almost every game, almost every minute without any problems and play at a level that is constantly good or high.”

The player of the year nominations have already been made, so what happens over the next week will have no bearing on that. De Bruyne has long been the favourite, especially since the winner often comes from the champion side, but Salah’s avalanche of goals – 20 in his past 20 matches since early December – have made him a live contender.

It is also the surprise factor with Salah. Few expected him to score so many goals following his return to the Premier League, particularly since he is not an out-and-out forward. He is used m88 perfectly by Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp in a role that allows him to cut in from the right wing and often leave him as the player furthest forward, with Firmino dropping deep from his central-striker role. “At Chelsea, he didn’t play too much but in Roma he was amazing – every game he created a lot of chances but sometimes missed,” Guardiola said Tuesday. “This season, the way Juergen Klopp wants to play is perfect for him. I think Juergen is a master at buying players he really needs for the way they want to play.

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