One of the more popular ante-post markets in the Premier League season is the top goalscorer one and those who bet in it last year will be all too aware of how close it was with three men tied at the top on 22 goals.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah all bagged that number with Sergio Aguero a goal behind them. There are some serious attacking talents on show this season so this could be every bit as competitive.
2018-19 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mo Salah & Sadio Mane
2017-18 – Mo Salah
2016-17 – Harry Kane
2015-16 – Harry Kane
2014-15 – Sergio Aguero
2013-14 – Luis Suarez
2012-13 – Robin van Persie
2011-12 – Robin van Persie
2010-11 – Carlos Tevez & Dimitar Berbatov
2009-10 – Didier Drogba
Harry Kane is the 4/1 favourite to lead the scoring this season and having top scored in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 campaigns we know he has what it takes to win this honour but there are two question marks over him. Firstly he has suffered regular injuries over the last couple of campaigns while he also drops a lot deeper for Tottenham these days which would be another concern for me. If he stays fit he’ll be right there but that is a big if.
Mohamed Salah is the second favourite to win the top scoring honours for a third season in a row. You can get 11/2 on him doing that but I’m not convinced he is as good as he was in that first season for Liverpool and if the Reds drop off just a touch his goal output might diminish slightly. At 6/1 Sergio Aguero looks a much better option among the favourites but the concern is that he and Gabriel Jesus will keep rotating, especially around the Champions League matches.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed his class last season but he could be spending much of this term in the wider areas so he’ll be relying on penalties to keep his tally up. He isn’t exactly convincing on them though which is a worry. You then go to the double figure prices where we have Raheem Sterling at 14/1. His stock has risen with the injury to Leroy Sane as he is likely to see a lot more action. There are worse bets than him while at the same price Sadio Mane might just be the value if you are backing someone in a Liverpool shirt. Jamie Vardy holds claims at 20/1.
Alexandre Lacazette got plenty of game time for Arsenal last term so the fact that he only found the net on 13 occasions would be a concern. We were on him that season at 25/1 and he’s the same price this year. Too many Arsenal players can share the goals for my liking though. Marcus Rashford is also 25/1 and if he has a good season he is entitled to be deep in the mix but he spends too much time outside the penalty box for my liking.
Gabriel Jesus can be backed at 33/1 but as I eluded to above he is likely to rotate with Sergio Aguero so a lack of game time would be a concern at the price. Raul Jimenez can be taken at 50/1 and if we go with the premise that overseas players improve after their first season in English football then he could be in the mix based on the fact that he bagged 13 last term. Wolves’ European exploits put me off though.
There are some decent players in the 50/1 bracket. Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is the pick of them but he’s probably the lower scoring member of their front three. Callum Wilson is an excellent prospect but can’t seem to go a whole campaign without picking up an injury while Nicolas Pepe could be employed too wide to make an impression. Olivier Giroud and Sebastien Haller are the others at this price. Will Giroud play enough? I’m not sure. Haller won’t lack for chances but is he as good as the hype? I’m not convinced.
There is a case to be made for all of them at short prices but more and more teams are playing with one central striker and two wider strikers who cut inside to shoot these days which makes me think there could be value on the second string players in the big sides. Son-Heung Min would certainly tick that box. He has 14, 12 and 12 Premier League goals in the last three terms but would have had a lot more last season had he not disappeared to the Asia Cup. There is no such tournament worries for him this term so I’m expecting a better season of scoring for Son. Spurs have added creativity to their ranks so Son should get plenty of chances. Kane is the obvious main man for Spurs but he’ll be injured from time to time and so Son can take advantage. It won’t take many more on those recent efforts for him to be in the mix at 66/1.
Another 66/1 shot who is more of a risk is Paul Pogba. It is a risk for a few reasons, firstly we don’t know if he’ll do the season at United and we also don’t know if he’ll fancy the job but if it comes to a standoff where he’s promised a move after a good season then he could well have an impact for United. VAR comes into the Premier League this year and if that brings more penalties with it then Pogba is in business. He runs up to them like a fairy on ecstasy but he doesn’t miss too many of them as his 13 goals last season show. United need him to dominate midfield this season and if he does he might just be overpriced. Pogba raised his game when Solskjaer arrived so there is a chance United will get the tune out of him.
Jamie Vardy is clearly the main man in terms of goals for Leicester City and gets the penalties too which makes him a fair price at 20/1 but the Foxes have been playing with two up top all pre-season with Ayoze Perez alongside him and a club like Leicester don’t spend £30 million on someone and have him warming the bench so I expect the Spaniard to see a lot of action. Vardy is 20/1 to be top scorer and Perez is 150/1. Admittedly the penalties make a difference but 7.5 times the difference in the same strike force? I don’t think so. Perez notched 12 goals in a terrible Newcastle side last season. He’ll get chances much more regularly this term and at the odds has to be a bet.
Back Son-Heung Min Top Goalscorer (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with BetVictor (1/4 1-4)
Back P.Pogba Top Goalscorer (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-4)
Back A.Perez Top Goalscorer (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Coral (1/4 1-4)