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Analysis | Tuesday, May 21, 2024 1:06 PM (Revised at: Thursday, June 13, 2024 2:08 PM)

Euro 2024 Golden Boot Prediction: Betting Tips Preview

Euro 2024 Golden Boot Prediction: Betting Tips Preview

Welcome to our Euro 2024 Golden Boot prediction and betting tips preview as offered up by Jack Wright

This is arguably one of the most popular betting heats of any major tournament and it is certainly mine. So how do we go about identifying and consequently profiting the top goalscorer at this summer’s UEFA European Football Championship?

Trendspotting is something of a minefield with just four nations competing in the inaugural competition in 1960. The tournament became an eight runner field in 1980 before being doubled again in 1996. This 17th edition will be the third with 24 nations battling it out for the Henri Delaunay Trophy.

First of all, how is a winner decided? It will come as no surprise that the scorer of the most goals (outside of penalty shoot-outs) is the first port of call. 

If there is a tie as was the case in 2020 the player to have provided the most assists takes the trophy. Cristiano Ronaldo with his five goals and one assist edging the award ahead of the assistless five goal Patrik Schick.

Fernando nicks it

In 2012 there was a low scoring tie with three players all hitting the back of the net three times. With Fernando Torres and Mario Gómez also level on one assist the Spaniard took the award by virtue of playing less minutes. 

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon reacts after Spain's Fernando Torres scored his sides 3rd goal

What makes up the profile of the winner? Well, since the expansion in 1996 only two players have taken home the Golden Boot without their nation making it to at least the semi final. The aforementioned Ronaldo in 2020 and Savo Milošević in 2000.

A prolific striker wins you games while successful teams play more and go deep into the tournament. Makes perfect sense right?

Top goalscorers since 1996 are as follows Alan Shearer (England, 5), Patrick Kluivert and Milošević (Netherlands and Serbia, 5), Milan Baroš (Czech Republic, 5), David Villa (Spain, 4), Torres (Spain, 3),  Antoine Griezmann (France, 6) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 5). That’s an average of 4.7 goals and a minimum of five in the years of a 24-team tournament. 

Those last two winners will both feature in Germany and in doing so will be looking to make history. No player has ever won the Golden Boot at the Euros more than once. 

CR7 will certainly look to further increase the record he holds of most goals scored in final tournaments which currently stands at 14. I am sure he will be a number of marksmen who have their eye on Michel Platini’s record of most goals scored in a single final tournament which stands at nine. Even more incredible given this was achieved with France only playing five games in the tournament they hosted in 1984.

Golden Boot criteria

In conclusion I believe we need to take the following criteria into account when making our final selections:

A player that represents a nation likely to go deep in the tournament. With extra factors to take into account being only Germany will enjoy home advantage unlike in the last tournament which saw several nations share hosting responsibilities. Winners of groups B, C, E and F will also enjoy a Round of 16 opponent that finished third in their respective section.  

Especially with the use of VAR at this tournament we may see an increase in the number of penalties and dangerous free-kicks awarded. It therefore makes sense to have at least a designated spot kick taker in your betting portfolio.

I will offer up two angles of attack in an attempt to quench the thirst of all bettors. My pick of the top five in the market and then a selection at more juicy odds.

Euro 2024 Golden Boot Prediction 1: Mbappé taken to Kyl off rivals in Golden Boot race

European Championships 2024, June 15th – July 14th 

At the time of writing, the top five in the market are as follows: Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jude Bellingham and Olivier Giroud. Crudely categorised as two at the peak of their powers, two veterans likely on their last rodeo and a 20-year-old who has catapulted himself to the very top of the game.

Let me start by eliminating those two veterans. Ronaldo joined Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Nassr in December 2022 and has since gone on to plunder 47 league goals in 44 outings. The 39-year-old will pick up the Golden Boot domestically and likely set a new scoring record,  something that would have already been fact had he not also had to serve two separate suspensions. 

Should we overlook experience?

Cast our minds back to the World Cup of 2022, when CR7 was sensationally dropped by Fernando Santos. After substituting him against South Korea, he started him on the bench for the next two games, including the elimination by Morocco. 

New manager Roberto Martínez has kept the faith however, playing his captain in nine of Portugal’s ten qualifiers and was rewarded with a return of 10 goals. The step up in class from the SPL to elite international competition will be massive and likely too big for even the great man to bridge.

Olivier Giroud has had a strong campaign, scoring 14 goals in what will be his last for AC Milan.  France’s all-time leading goalscorer has recently announced he will be continuing his career with a move to Los Angeles Football Club in the MLS.

At 37, it is fair to assume he will be an experienced foil for Mbappé, who, if given the chance, can outscore his countryman. 

Nothing would surprise me with Jude Bellingham right now. At the time of writing having hit 19 league goals in his first season with Real Madrid the 20-year-old still has an opportunity to finish the season as leading goalscorer in La Liga.

The Southgate effect

But with ultra-cautious Gareth Southgate in the technical area rather than Carlo Ancelotti, there is too much doubt about how the Los Blancos talisman will be utilised. Another year, another tournament, another coach, and let’s discuss again.

That leaves the top two in the market, and probably rightfully so, in my opinion. 

Harry Kane has plundered 36 Bundesliga goals in 32 appearances in his first season with Bayern Munich. After a disappointing return of two in Qatar, the 30-year-old fired eight in eight qualification appearances. 

It is hard to overlook England’s record goalscorer, who has hit the back of the net 62 times in 89 internationals and already has the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot sitting proudly in his trophy cabinet. But I am going to do just that and put forward Mbappé.

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates after scoring a goal

Let me address the elephant in the room immediately, which is the fact that France’s skipper failed to register a goal at the last Euros. Les Bleus suffered shock elimination at the quarter-final stage that year, whereas I do expect them to go all the way this time around. 

The biggest stage

The 25-year-old bounced back in impressive style however at the World Cup. Scoring eight goals across the tournament including a sensational hattrick in the final illustrating his ability to perform on the biggest stage. 

His 27 goals in 29 Ligue 1 games for PSG made him the top scorer in the division, while it is likely he will finish the season as the joint-top scorer in the Champions League alongside Kane with eight goals. 

Mbappé hit nine goals in qualifying, which was only bettered by two other players, and he is sure to be the talisman for his country again. Great players bounce back and with his last memory being missing the decisive penalty in the shootout defeat to Switzerland expect a response in Germany.

  • Euro 2024 Golden Boot Prediction 1: Kylian Mbappé (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 6.50
  • Bookmaker: Paddy Power
  • Stake: 7/10

Euro 2024 Golden Boot Outsider Prediction 2: Backers of Romelu could be in Luk

I will start this section with some worthy mentions. Anyone that has read my preview of Group A will have seen my Kai Havertz prediction.

The German is ending the season in great form for Arsenal, earning rave reviews for just about every aspect of his game. I won’t go over old ground when you can click this link and read the reasons why in full detail. 

Needless to say I wouldn’t put anyone off an investment in the player likely to lead the line for the home nation at odds of 34.00. But not wanting to put all my eggs in the one basket I will look elsewhere for my longshot. 

There seems to be much support for Havertz’s teammate Niclas Fullkrug, especially after his excellent performances in both legs of the Champions League semi finals. The only concern for me would be his game time with Havertz seemingly the first choice – but at 41.00 there are certainly worse bets. 

Never write off the Germans or La Roja

For those who fancy Spain to have a good tournament, then Alvaro Morata could make some good appeal. He will be captaining La Roja so injury permitting will get plenty of game time and boasts a strong scoring record at international level of 34 goals in 71 appearances. 

The 31-year old has had a strong campaign in both La Liga and the Champions League for Atlético Madrid. What I also like about his chances is a group that contains FIFA ranked 66th best side Albania could get him off to a flying start.

 Maybe those seemingly perpetual dark horses Denmark could spring another surprise, something they achieved when finishing as beaten semi-finalists at Euro 2020. If they are to go far again it is likely to be as a result of Rasmus Højlund’s goals.

The Manchester United striker has made a fantastic start to his international career, scoring seven times in his opening 12 appearances for the Danes. It is likely he will enjoy the release from the pressures he has endured in club football this term.

Despite an underwhelming first season at Old Trafford domestically, the 21-year-old saved his best form for European competition. Impressively scoring five times in six Champions League outings despite the Red Devils finishing bottom of their group. 

Chelsea, yes, Chelsea’s goal-getter

However, it is a former Manchester United player that I am taking to give the market leaders a run for their money. Chelsea’s, yes Chelsea’s, Romelu Lukaku scored four goals against Azerbaijan in the final round of matches to finish as the top scorer in qualifying. 

Romelu Lukaku of Belgium celebrates after scoring

He scored a total of 14 goals, eclipsing the record previously held by Northern Ireland’s David Healy and Robert Lewandowski of Poland for a single European Qualifiers campaign. Those goals came in just eight games for Belgium and he has also broken the 20-goal barrier on-loan at Roma this term including seven strikes in 13 Europa League appearances. 

Still only at the age of 30 there is still enough in his locker to trouble international defences. The key factor being Kevin De Bruyne should be fit enough to provide his usual steady stream of ammunition. 

With a group completed by Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine, there is a good chance Lukaku could be sitting pretty well before the first knockout game kicks off. The expectation for the Red Devils to dominate Group E highlighted by the fact with quotes as low as 1.33 no nation is a shorter price to top their section. As mentioned above the winner of their group will also face a third placed finisher in the Round of 16.

Euro 2024 Golden Boot Prediction odds via Paddy Power as at 14:30, May 15th, 2024. Odds may now differ.

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