Premier League Top Goalscorer Betting
As the Premiership season openers draw closer and closer it is close becoming time to get antepost bets in order. A consistently popular and varied market is that of Top Goalscorer. Last season’s joint winners Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov are far from the thinking of most punters, with the former expected to leave Manchester City and the Premier League shortly and the latter clearly down the pecking order at Champions Manchester United.
It is at United that the two market leaders will be found, with both Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez best priced at 10.00 across the board, and both as short as 8.00 in various places too. The expectation is for Rooney to continue to recover the form that had England dreaming of a World Cup win, having instead stuffered with a World Cup hangover last season and failing to reach anywhere near the levels expected of him until past halfway through campaign. Rooney’s role will be dictated by the players around him. If his partnership with Hernandez continues to flourish, the England striker will drop deeper and create more, whereas in a 4-5-1 with the likes of Ashley Young, Nani and Valencia behind him, Rooney will lead the line and be more selfish in and around the box.
Hernandez is expected to continue his fine form in the red of United, and this time round will have a full season to score goals after he was eased into English football by Sir Alex Ferguson last year. The only problem with playing for such a dominant side is that the manager will manage his squad according the stages of each competition they are in. With Rooney, Hernandez, Owen, Berbatov, Welbeck, Macheda and Young who could line up in attack for the Champions, and a number of different formations they could line up with, playing time will be shared, neither striker will be the only goal threat and the focus on competition/match importance will change.
Another factor affecting Top Goal Scorer betting this season is the African Cup of Nations. The likes of Drogba, Arsenal new boy Gervinho and new Newcastle striker Demba Ba will be away from the league for a month. This is worth noting for any African player that you fancy to bury bundles. The aforementioned Ba could be worth an each way shout even if he misses a month of football. As one of very few who impressed as West Ham were relegated last year, with seven goals in 10 premier league starts, the forward was snapped up by Newcastle for nothing, coming into a side who have added strength across the pitch this transfer window and who will continue to attack in every game. The 67.00 offered by Blue Square is tempting, and with most firms offering around four or five places there is plenty of each way value.
The last major pitfall of the Top Goal Scorer market is the injury prone striker. Robin Van Persie is a world class forward who can carry Arsenal single handedly through tough encounters. But can he stay fit for the majority of the season? If you think he can, 11.00 (skybet, victorchandler, coral) is a cracking price for the man who scored 18 times since the start of 2011 last season, and became the first Premier League player to score in seven successive away games (and ended up scoring in nine consecutive away ties). However, in his seven years with The Gunners he has played only 156 times, which indicates just how often he misses matches, even considering his emergence was blocked by one Thierry Henry.
Having highlighted Rooney, Hernandez and Van Persie, the remaining two of the top five in the market (assuming Tevez is Corinthians bound) are Fernando Torres and Darren Bent. Can Torres banish his demons of last season, under a new boss and within an apparently more attack minded side? It is hard to believe Roman Abramovich would hire a manager who would not make Torres the attacking diamond of a side, and with a full pre-season behind him there can no longer be any excuses for Fernando Torres. If he discovers the form of his early Liverpool days then the 11.00 offered by Victor Chandler and Coral is a must back. As the old saying goes, form is temporary, class is permanent, and there’s no doubting the Spaniard had class not long ago.
England’s Darren Bent is an out and out goalscorer, no doubt about that. The problem with backing him is nothing to do with his ability. Sadly for him, Villa have lost two of the best wingers in the league, and players who enjoy laying on a goal for a striker. The sales of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing mean Bent may lack the class of support he once had, or may have to build new relationships with any incoming signings.
The only man with positives all round him? Andy Carroll. Liverpool have strengthened their supply line without adding to their forward line, and as such there is less competition but plenty of faith for the young striker to work with. With Downing and Adam supplying balls into the box, Gerrard and Suarez playing in the hole, the players are there to feed Carroll, who can dominant in the air and score with both feet. Not only that, Sky Bet and Paddy Power offer 23.00.
There are easy positives behind many players in the market. It comes down to personal opinion, and opinion on not only players, but how teams will do. Not since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the 2000/01 season has a player from outside the top four been top scorer. However, Andy Johnson of relegated Crystal Palace came second in 2004/05, and this highlights that a goalscorer can come from any side, and that there is each way value out there.
Darren Bent e/w 15.00 William Hill
Andy Carroll e/w 23.00 Paddy Power
Demba Ba e/w 67.00 Blue Sq
Wayne Rooney 10.00 William Hill
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