Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is on 31 league goals for this season as he seeks a Championship record and the highest English league total for almost 30 years.
The Serbia international has already matched Ivan Toney’s tally for Brentford last season, which was the most since the second tier’s rebranding, and has up to 16 games remaining to add to his total starting against Huddersfield on Saturday lunchtime.
Here, the PA news agency looks at how the pair’s prolific seasons compare and how far Mitrovic could push his total.
Mitrovic v Toney
Mitrovic’s 31 goals to date have come in just 28 Championship appearances, with three hat-tricks and a further five two-goal hauls.
That puts him well ahead of Toney’s pace, with the latter scoring his 31st goal of Brentford’s regular season on the final day against Bristol City in what was his 45th appearance. They needed the play-offs to secure their elevation to the Premier League, with Toney adding two more goals in those three games.
Toney’s only hat-trick came against Wycombe, with four doubles as he scored in 25 separate games in all compared to 20 so far for Mitrovic.
Mitrovic has so far played 2,579 minutes of league football, including stoppage time, having started all but the games against Derby in November and Stoke in January and been substituted on nine occasions, often very late in the game.
Toney played 4,123 minutes in the regular season as he broke through the 30 barrier, meaning Mitrovic’s scoring rate is 60 per cent higher and raising the tantalising prospect of an even more momentous figure.
The chase for 40
Mitrovic is on course to not just outstrip Toney’s efforts but also record the most prolific season in England since the early 1990s – and could even challenge the 40-goal mark.
In the Premier League, there were 34-goal seasons from Andy Cole for Newcastle in 1993-94 – when Jimmy Quinn also scored 35 for third-tier Reading – and Alan Shearer for Blackburn the following year.
Mitrovic’s next goal will match the best tally in the top two divisions since then, Mohamed Salah’s 32 for Liverpool in 2017-18 which was a record for a 38-game top-flight season.
Paul Mullin achieved the same mark for Cambridge in League Two last season while in League One, Jordan Rhodes’ 35 for Huddersfield in 2011-12 is the next landmark in front of Mitrovic.
He is well on course to post the first 40-goal English League season since 1992-93, when Guy Whittingham scored 42 for Portsmouth in the second tier. Despite his remarkable efforts, Pompey missed out on promotion – on goals scored.
Ricky Miller hit 40 in the National League for Dover in 2016-17 but Mitrovic would be the first since Whittingham to do so in the top four divisions.
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