Premier League Golden Boot - The State Of Play
While we enjoy the international break this weekend, today on the blog Amit Singh from Think Football takes a look at the state of play in Premier League Golden Boot betting.
Last year Robin van Persie pipped a suspended Luis Suarez to the Golden Boot award. This season the Premier League top scorers race is heating up once more, with a number of players in the running for the coveted striking prize. But who is shaping up to be the early favourite?
Premier League Golden Boot Leaderboard - Odds as at 12th October 2013.
|L Remy||5||16||4 (1)||67.00||26.00||26.00|
|S Aguero||4||12||5 (1)||9.00||8.00||7.50|
|R Lukaku||4||10||2 (1)||21.00||13.00||15.00|
|R van Persie||3||22||5 (1)||4.50||5.50||5.50|
|A Negredo||3||16||4 (3)||21.00||15.00||17.00|
|W Rooney||3||18||5 (1)||17.00||21.00||26.00|
Daniel Sturridge is currently leading the goal scoring chase with six goals in his seven appearances. He has to be seen as a front runner on current form as he is looks unplayable at times. The English striker has managed to attempt 3.1 shots per game this season, proving that he is a consistent goal threat and in the process has converted 30% of these efforts.
The only worry for him will be that he might end up playing more of a support role to his team-mate Luis Suarez who has just returned to the first team, although he has scored in consecutive games since being partnered with the Uruguayan front man.
Despite missing the first five games of the season Luis Suarez might be his team-mates biggest rival in the golden boot race. The divisive forward has been in brilliant form in his two games in Red this season scoring three goals in just two league games.
He is a constant goal threat having attempted 4.5 shots per game. Suarez missed out on the Golden Boot last season largely because suspension stopped him finishing the season, but if he can stay trouble free this term there is no reason why he can't be up there come May.
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie was the top goal scorer in the Premier League last season and the season prior. Last year though he was aided by the long term suspension for his main rival, Luis Suarez. It is also worth noting that van Persie went on a drought last year. This season he has actually struggled, despite scoring three goals so far.
RVP hasn't scored a goal from open play since the opening day victory over Swansea. A shooting accuracy of just 43% is indicative of his relative troubles this season in front of goal. RVP may come good, but right now he is struggling to get going on a consistent basis. If he is to get back into scoring form he'll need to improve on his dismal 16.7% chance conversion
Wayne Rooney scored 12 league goals last season, a disappointing tally for a man who hit 27 the season prior. The reason for this was that he was dropped deeper behind van Persie, rather than playing up front. This year he has been operating in more of a 4-4-2 formation as a striker alongside van Persie. The result has been good goal scoring form for Rooney who has netted three goals in six appearances for United.
Rooney might actually be a better bet for the golden boot if we consider the inconsistency of Robin van Persie. If Rooney is dropped back into a deeper role though, we might see his goal scoring decline to similar levels of last season.
Manchester City are the Premier League's top goal scorers this season with 17. Sergio Aguero has netted four of those in his six appearances. The Argentine striker has converted 40% of his chances this season and managed to get 70% of his efforts on target. He only managed 12 goals last year in a slightly less offensive Manchester City team but he was the third top goal scorer in the Premier League back in 2011/12 with 23 goals, showing that he can be prolific.
In Manuel Pellegrini's attacking line-up Sergio Aguero will continue to score big goals. If City continue this form then there is no reason why Aguero can't be the top goal scorer, especially with the huge array of service he'll get from City's support players.
Romelu Lukaku managed to score an impressive 17 league goals last season for West Brom, despite starting just 20 games for the side. This year Chelsea (incredibly) decided to let the Belgian go on loan to Everton. Lukaku has wasted no time getting going having scored four times in just three fixtures for The Toffees, a conversion rate of 50%.
In a side that plays relatively attacking football under Roberto Martinez and with the service of players like Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley, Lukaku will have no trouble finding the back of the net on a regular basis. If he does finish the season as top scorer Jose Mourinho's desicion to loan him out might look even more bizarre than it already does.
Despite missing the last two games with injuries Christian Benteke is another Belgian who could lead the scoring charts come May. The Belgian should be back in action for Aston Villa's next fixture and will be keen to build on the 19 league goals he mustered last campaign. Benteke will want to justify the hype surrounding his form last season and so far has continued to do that getting a huge 78% of his shots on target.
Having scored two with his head, one on his left and one on his right, Benteke can certainly get goals from anywhere. His four goals in five games is definitely a good start to the season as he remains the league's joint third top scorer despite having missed the last two fixtures.
Olivier Giroud had a mixed season last year but has had a strong start to his second season in English football. Giroud is Arsenal's only real striking option and as such he'll surely score a large number of goals in a side where he will be supplied by Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. Someone has to score the goals and he'll be there to put them away.
Giroud has however only managed to get 42% of his efforts on target and converted just 21% of his chances. This is comparatively quite low compared to the likes of Benteke and Daniel Sturridge, two of his major contenders.
There are of course a number of other contenders. Roberto Soldado at Spurs will be their main goal scoring option, but has not scored from open play so far this season. Loic Remy, on loan from QPR, has also been in the goals at Newcastle having scored five times in four games. Remy will need to continue this form if Newcastle are to ensure Premier League safety.
Any of Sergio Aguero's strike partners at City, particularly Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko could also mount outside bids for the prize. All three players will get a host of service and have all proven this season that they can score goals when required. Aaron Ramsey has of course also been in the goals at Arsenal but it's unlikely that he will score 20 plus league goals, despite a brilliant start to the season for the Welsh midfielder.
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