Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Top Contenders for the Premier League Golden Boot

August 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Premier League

With the opening exchanges having taken place in the English Premier League, the table has a fairly familiar look to it with Chelsea and Manchester City among the teams challenging at the top. Producing a table at this stage in the campaign usually tells us very little but both of those sides have been inspired by their main strikers to take an early advantage.

Diego Costa for Chelsea along with Sergio Aguero and StevanJovetic for Manchester City, have all found the net twice in two games and while they have helped to take maximum points for their respective teams, it also leaves both men in a strong position in the race for the Golden Boot.

The early favourites

Before a ball was kicked in anger, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge led the way and after a positive campaign as the foil for Luis Suarez, the England international was made favourite with Betfair to finish as the Premier League’s leading goal scorer.

Sturridge started well with the winner in his side’s opening victory over Southampton but after drawing a blank in the subsequent fixture against Manchester City, the market has changed.

Those two goals from Diego Costa against Burnley and Leicester City have seen the Spanish international take over at the top of the table and although both strikes came against newly promoted opposition, the former Atletico Madrid man looks to be in excellent form for the campaign that lies ahead.

Costa was prolific as Atleti secured the La Liga title in 2013-14 and 27 goals in 35 league matches last time out suggest that the 25 year old has every chance of claiming the individual award.

City’s challengers

Sergio Aguero’s double is notable for the fact that both goals came after the Argentinian was introduced as a second half substitute. Strikes against Newcastle and Liverpool put the centre forward at the top of the early scoring charts but injury concerns have kept him away from the starting XI so far.

With Aguero and Alvaro Negredo struggling with fitness, Montenegrin international StevanJovetic has been leading the City line with EdinDzekoand after a difficult first season at the Etihad, the 24 year old scored twice in his side’s 3-1 victory over Liverpool.

With Dzeko also picking up a knock in that game, Jovetic is set for an extended run under Manuel Pellegrini and if he maintains his early season form, the former Fiorentina man shouldn’t be ruled out of Golden Boot contention.

Lagging behind

Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie won this award for two consecutive seasons in 2011-12 and 2012-13 but injuries last time out ensured that the Dutchman finished 2013-14 with a very modest return of 12 goals from 21 league matches.

Happily for United fans, Van Persie returned to the first team for their away draw with Sunderland but he is some way away from full fitness. Meanwhile, strike partner Wayne Rooney scored his side’s first goal of the campaign in a home defeat to Swansea and manager Louis Van Gaalwill hope that his reunited pairing can become the potent force that they once were.

Outside chances

Arsenal’s major summer signing, Alexis Sanchez has yet to register a league goal while Olivier Giroud got off the mark with a dramatic late equaliser against Everton. Both men are among the outsiders for the Golden Boot and a run of tough fixtures against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs will test the Gunners’ strike force further.

The battle for the Golden Boot is always a fascinating one with so many factors affecting the chances of each player. Injury and suspension, together with loss of form can have an impact but at this early stage, it seems as though Chelsea’s Diego Costa will be the man to beat.

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