Who will win the EPL Golden Boot this season?
With eight goals each, Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez headed the Premier League goal scoring charts. Now, after last weekends fixtures, Suarez has 10 goals.
Even though only less than one third of the season has gone, odds point heavily in favour of one of these two players finishing as Premier League top goal scorer, with the bookmakers heavily fancying van Persie, who won the award last season, scoring 30 goals and single handily helping Arsenal to finish the season in third place.
Since arriving at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson has used the Dutchman as his main striker, and with Manchester United scoring goals freely, there is every possibility that van Persie could emulate last season’s goal tally, as long as he remains injury free.
Luis Suarez has scored eight of Liverpool’s 14 league goals and is currently their only active striker. If the Uruguayan can avoid disciplinary issues and remain injury free, he has every chance of exceeding 20 league goals, something he last achieved in the 2009-10 season when still at Ajax.
Even though Kun Aguero has scored only three times in eight league games, he is strongly fancied to end the season close to the 23 league goals he scored last season, while team mate and fellow countryman Carlos Tevez, with four goals, is also strongly fancied by the bookmakers.
However, a really good outside bet for Golden Boot must be their Manchester City team mate Edin Dzeko, who is at surprisingly long odds (33/1) despite his six goals in nine appearances. City manager Roberto Mancini has used Dzeko as an impact substitute, and without his goals, City would be closer to mid-table, rather than in second place. But for how long will Dzeko be willing to play the role of super sub?
The odds on Newcastle’s Demba Ba and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres finishing as top scorer are about 16/1. The Newcastle man has scored seven times in the league, while Torres has scored four. Only once have either of these players ended the season with 20 or more goals.
Somewhat surprisingly, the odds on Wayne Rooney being the Golden Boot are as low as 20/1, even though the Manchester United man finished just three goals behind Robin van Persie last season. But with the ex-Arsenal man now leading Manchester United’s attack, Rooney finds himself employed in the role of attacking midfielder, rather than as the front line striker.
The award for the Premier League team of 2012 must go to Everton, who have lost only five league games since January. Manager David Moyes is a shrewd operator in the transfer market, and even with limited finances, has managed to pick up some exceptional bargains. Striker Nikica Jelavi? joined Everton from Rangers at the end of January 2012, and the Croatian scored nine times in 13 appearances last season. In the opening 10 games of this season, Jelavi? has already hit the back of the net five times and the odds of 20/1 for him to finish top scorer seem very generous.
Despite being a prolific goal scorer throughout his career, Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe has yet to score 20 goals in a season. Manager Andre Villas-Boas has played Defoe as his main striker this season and has been rewarded with five goals in the opening 11 games.
Honourable mentions to Swansea City striker Michu and Everton’s outstanding midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who have both scored six times, to Steven Fletcher of Sunderland who has scored five of Sunderland’s seven league goals and to Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov, who with five goals in only seven games, is surely worth a punt at odds as low as 40/1.