The Premier League is a little over three weeks away, and with Luis Suarez off to feast on defenders plying their trade in La Liga, it has really spiced up an already fiercely competitive market for the league’s top scorer.
Robin van Persie topped the charts in 2011/12 with 30 goals for Arsenal and then again the following year after banging in 26 goals for Manchester United. Although he struggled last season under David Moyes, RVP showed he still had it with one of the goals of the tournament at the World Cup, and now under Louis van Gaal’s reign plenty are expecting him to excel once again at the Theatre of Dreams.
There’s one man however, Paddy Power punters are far more eager to back, and it might just catch you by surprise…
Yes, Arsenal fans must be getting a bit giddy after that FA Cup triumph over footballing giants Hull City, because they haven’t been shy in putting their money where their mouth is.
Alexis Sanchez (16/1) is the most popular player in the top scorer market with more than double the money on him than anybody else. In La Liga last season for Barcelona Sanchez managed 19 goals, with an average of a goal every 125 minutes of play. It’s not a bad record at all, and something similar will keep him bang in the mix for the accolades this season. He also had a conversion rate of 31 per cent which is higher than any of RVP, Diego Costa, Daniel Sturridge or Sergio Aguero in their respective league campaigns last year.
However no foreign footballer has ever won the Premier League’s top scorer accolade in their debut season.
Danny or Diego?
Robin van Persie (9/2) is the closest to Alexis Sanchez in terms of cash, although he’s still barely hanging on to his coat-tails. The Dutchman struggled last year with niggling injuries and having to play alongside a creative midfield that comprised of Marouane Fellaini and Tom Cleverley. With Ander Herrera and Juan Mata providing the assists, and Louis Van Gaal at the helm, it’s no surprise to see Van Persie well supported to make it three Premier League top scorer prizes in the last four years.
Diego Costa (7/1), who joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid for £32m in the summer, and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge (11/2) have also seen plenty of early support from punters. Costa struggled at the tail-end of last season and through the World Cup with a hamstring injury, however racked up 27 La Liga goals last year and is the striker Jose Mourinho has been literally crying out for. Dancing Danny notched 21 goals for Liverpool last year, a tally which would have won him the award in two of the last six seasons, and plenty of punters will be hoping all those Subway sandwhiches are paving the way for a similar return this year.
Wayne Rooney (16/1) rounds off the top five most-backed players in the book. He has five top-five finishes in the scoring charts in the last nine season but is yet to win the award. The striker’s biggets league haul was 27 (in 2009/10 and 2011/12) and he’d need a similar return to be up there this season.
Incredibly, despite being the favourite according to the traders, there are 11 players more popular than Sergio Aguero (4/1) in the top scorer book. That includes Rickie Lambert (66/1), Wilfried Bony (20/1) and Eden Hazard (40/1) who are all more appealing than the Argentinian striker. Aguero notched 17 goals for City last year, with an incredible average of a goal every 90 minutes, however his injury-prone record is understandably putting punters off backing him at 4/1.
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