Golden Boot Euro 2012 - The Top 5 Contenders
Who will win the Golden Boot at Euro 2012? Who are the contenders to consider? Today on the blog Luke Massey from OddsLife.com gives us the top 5 to look out for in June.
With the European Championships under a month away, debates surrounding the tournament have hit fever pitch… Who will win it? Who will be the tournaments dark horse? And of course, which player will take home the Golden Boot?
With the finest strikers in Europe descending on Poland and Ukraine in June, it is hard to pick one from the bunch. Common sense tells us that the top marksman will belong to the team that makes it furthest, so look to combine your thinking. Does the striker you’re backing belong to a nation that is likely to do well?
Mario Gomez – Germany
Germany are fancied to go all the way this year, with Gomez tipped to lead the line. His prolific form in the Bundesliga this season has been coupled with an improvement in his record for the National side. Gomez started just four games in qualifying, coming on as a sub in a further two games but still managed to net an impressive six goals, scoring in five different games. Despite Germany being drawn in this tournaments ‘group of death’, they are many people’s favourites for the tournament and should, on paper at least, qualify for the final meaning Gomez has six games to bag his goals. He is many bookies favourite to finish with the Golden Boot and Betfair offers odds currently upwards of 10/1.
Robin Van Persie – Holland
Van Persie has been the catalyst for Arsenal this season and has all but won the Golden Boot in the Premier League with 30 goals (after 37 games). He will lead the line for Holland after scoring six goals in six qualifying games, albeit four of those came in one game against San Marino. What is more convincing about Van Persie this season is that he has avoided injury. Should Holland do as expected and qualify from a group including Germany and Portugal, Van Persie has at least four games to make his mark on the tournament. Given his club form, and the attacking quality around him, odds of 10/1 currently offered at Betfair seem more than reasonable
Karim Benzema – France
A player who has found his feet in La Liga after a sticky start, Benzema is starting to show his full arsenal of skills for Jose Mourinho’s title winning Real Madrid side. Despite being played in a few different positions, and being rotated with Higuain, Benzema has broken the 20 goal mark in the league and is the stand out forward in French football at the minute. Despite France’s recent resurgence under Laurent Blanc, they are considered outsiders for the tournament. However, they should qualify with England from their group giving Benzema enough games to mount a challenge. Odds of 15/1 currently on offer at Betfair represent good value with France having an outside chance to challenge outright in the tournament.
Mario Balotelli – Italy
Perhaps an outside bet, but Mario Balotelli is a goalscorer who thrives on the big stage. His goal scoring at club level has been overlooked in some parts, and given the opportunity he could out score any striker in the competition. Italy should qualify from their group with Spain and after experiencing a similar resurgence to France, they could mount an outside challenge for the tournament with ‘Super Mario’ leading the line. Betfair currently offers odds of 35/1 and despite their being more obvious candidates ahead of him, his scoring ability must not be underestimated.
Fernando Torres – Spain
With all their attacking flair it would be hard to look past a Spanish player to finish top of the standings. Their predator in chief at the last two major tournaments has been David Villa, cruelly ruled out of Euro 2012 with a leg injury. Step forward Fernando Torres! Chelsea’s £50m striker has endured a barren 18 months, but is starting to show glimpses of his best form. ‘El Nino’ hit the winning goal in the Euro 2008 final (one of 28 goals in Spanish colours), and will be hunting for repeat glory four years on in Kiev. He is currently odds of 16/1 at Betfair.
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How much can I get on Downing not scoring or getting any assists during the tournament? Probably low odds. There is something about that Lewandowski guy, maybe he can bag a few goals against Russia, Czech Republic and Greece. But facing the likes of Holland, Germany and Portugal in the quarterfinales could be the end of the road for Poland and Lewandowski.
The article was written just a couple of days before Villa was ruled out of the tournament. We should have an updated list this week.
Villa isn't (and never has been) in the Espana squad.
When was this written? Because Villa is a long time injured player...
Gomez and Benzema are sensible picks.. Russia could pick up a few goals in their stage and any of the top teams could be dumped out at group stage. What about ex-Spurs man Pavyluchenko?
After looking at the top scorer market for a while now, and for the majority of it fancying Mario Gomez to deliver, I'm concerned that he just freezes on the biggest stages. Karim Benzema is a great shout. France are much improved since Laurent Blanc took over, and Benzema was only overshadowed by Ronaldo at Real Madrid this season. Van Persie is another interesting contender, but Holland tend to share their goals out quite a bit, such is their attacking prowess. As a couple of outsiders, I like Alan Dzagoev of Russia at 150/1.. He scored 4 in qualifying from attacking midfield. I also like the look of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored over 25 goals for Borussia Dortmund this season. Poland could be dark horses here.