While watching Luis Suarez’s incredible goal-scoring run is a delight for football purists there is one nagging problem. Yes, the Liverpool striker’s form is phenomenal and his strike-rate this year is on track to smash every record since football began (in 1992-ish). Yes, he scores some simply fabulous goals rather than just tap-ins and yes he’s dong all that despite being banned for the first chunk of the season.
But he hasn’t half ruined our top goalscorer bets.
Admittedly my punt on Christian Benteke was dead in the water before Christmas, but with Suarez at an un-backable 1/50 there’s no real value in the market. It’s the same in La Liga with Cristiano Ronaldo three goals clear at 2/7 and showing no signs of letting up.
Luckily that’s were the bouncing Bundesliga comes in, and although the title has already been decided, there’s plenty of value in the scoring charts.
Mario Madzukic (Bayern Munich)
17 goals – 5/4
Pep Gaurdiola isn’t renowned for his ‘Lump it up to the big man up top’ footballing philosophy. But even the God of tika-taka, false number nines, and tiny play-makers can’t ignore the 6ft 1in goal-machine Mario Madzukic. The striker has 17 league goals in 25 appearances and currently tops the Bundesliga scoring charts.
However there may be reason to oppose a man who has averaged a goal every 101 minutes this year. Bayern Munich have the title wrapped up and will be completely focused on the Champions League from now until the end of the season. Mandzukic has appeared in 25 of Munich’s 27 league matches and will probably be afforded a rest in and around their European ties.
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)
16 goals – 6/4
The soon-to-be Munich man managed just two Bundesliga goals between November 6 and the start of February, but since then Bobby has racked up five in seven games to get himself back in the hunt for the Golden Boot. Lewandowski is starting to find the net at the business end of the season again after scoring 17 goals in 16 games between the start of February and end of April last season.
Dortmund have a small cushion between them and fourth place – keeping them in that all important automatic Champions League spot. However Lewandowski’s goals will be all important to avoid any slip ups and the Pole is likely to benefit from more game time in the league than Mandzukic.
Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin)
16 goals – 8/1
Ramos hit top form in the winter, but since February the goals have dried up. He has just two in his last seven games and Hertha Berlin’s crashing form isn’t helping his cause. The striker has a goal every 148 minutes in the league this year which isn’t too shabby but the gulf in quality between his team-mates and the squads of Munich and Dortmund is huge.
Hertha Berlin are winless in five and travel away to two of the top three sides in the next few weeks. With just seven games left Ramos might be able to add just two or three more strikes to his tally, and you get the feeling that won’t be enough.
Raffael Araujo (Borussia Monchengladbach)
14 goals – 14/1
The big outsider, and the one that could appeal to long-shot punters the most is the in-form Raffael. The Mochengladbach striker has four goals in his last five games and has a 63 per cent shot accuracy ranking since the turn of the month.
It’s a big ask to come from three goals off the pace and pinch the Golden Boot with just seven games remaining, but Raffael is the most prolific striker of the bunch. Don’t let the 28-year-old’s advancing years fool you, he has started all 28 of Monchengladbach’s games and, with Mandzukic set to be afforded a rest, and Adrian Ramos in crippling form, Raffael could put up a decent challenge to Lewandowski at a big price.