Lionel Messi set to beat Mohamed Salah in race for European Golden Shoe

Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks set to retain the European Golden Shoe as the top scorer in Europe, holding off Liverpool's Mohamed Salah for the award.

Little over a month ago, Salah was the firm favourite to outscore all of his rivals across Europe, but the Liverpool man has just three Premier League goals to his name since the end of March, and Messi has answered that with eight in La Liga.

With 34 goals in his domestic league, Messi leads Salah by three, and the Egyptian has one match left in which to close the gap at home against Brighton on Sunday.

Messi, meanwhile, still has two games to play as Barcelona travel to Levante before finishing the season at home to Real Sociedad.

The Golden Shoe table is ranked on points rather than goals, with goals scored in Europe's top five leagues worth two points. Jonas of Benfica has scored 33 league goals this term, but strikes in the Portuguese league are only worth 1.5 points, which places him ninth in the standings.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Ciro Immobile of Lazio are tied for third place with 58 points after scoring 29 goals each. Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain, Mauro Icardi of Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane follow with 28 goals.

Messi has already won the award four times. Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has won it four times too -- the first coming with Manchester United in 2007-08.

Since 2008, La Liga has provided 11 of the 12 winners, with Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan the other player from Spain to top the chart in 2008-09.

If Salah rallied to win the award, he would emulate former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who shared the accolade with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14 when both scored 31 goals.

This season, Cristiano Ronaldo sits in eighth with 25 goals.

The top 10:

1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona, 68 points (34 goals)
2. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, 62 points (31)
3. Ciro Immobile, Lazio, 58 (29)
3. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich, 58 (29)
6. Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain, 56 (28)
6. Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan, 56 (28)
6. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur, 56 (28)
8. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid, 50 (25)
6. Jonas, Benfica, 49.5 (33)
10. Luis Suarez, Barcelona, 48 (24)