The new Sky Bet Championship season is closing in on us quickly but before the first ball is kicked in the campaign there is a chance to take a look at the top goalscorer market, always a popular offering for any division.
The chase for Premier League football is such that some standout strikers are on show in this division but unlike the last few seasons the top scorer from the previous campaign is still in the league as well.
2022-23 – Chuba Akpom
2021-22 – Aleksandar Mitrovic
2020-21 – Ivan Toney
2019-20 – Aleksandar Mitrovic
2018-19 – Teemu Pukki
2017-18 – Matej Vydra
2016-17 – Chris Wood
2015-16 – Andre Gray
2014-15 – Daryl Murphy
2013-14 – Ross McCormack
We have joint favourites in the top goalscorer market for this season in the Leicester City pair of Patson Daka and Jamie Vardy. Whenever we get players from the same club in this market the immediate fear is that they share the goals between each other and that isn’t what you want. If Vardy was to be certain of being the main man then he might well be attractive at 10/1 but he isn’t getting any younger and you would imagine the pair will indeed share time on the pitch so that detracts my interest in both of them.
The Golden Boot winner of last season is still in the division and is the 11/1 third favourite. That is Chuba Akpom and there is no discernible reason why he won’t go well again although I think it is air to say that at the time of writing Middlesbrough might not look as strong. The flip side of that is there is no Cameron Archer to take goals away from him so Akpom certainly has to come into the equation when considering a pick in this market.
Kelechi Iheanacho is the next player in the betting at 12/1. If Daka and Vardy are sharing game time and goals then the same is going to happen with Iheanacho and when you consider the amount of creative players Leicester have lost there just isn’t going to be enough goals for them to share around and all of them be up towards the top of the scoring chart. There is a chance that the Nigerian could be on penalties though which might elevate him above his teammates.
The other 12/1 shot is the Swansea striker Joel Piroe. If you are considering backing him you would need assurance he will be in the division come September because if he leaves it he takes your money with him effectively. The other potential negative is that Swansea are going from a possession based style under Russell Martin to a more direct one under Michael Duff and Jerry Yates has arrived to share the burden which puts me off.
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If you look at the list of top scorers above, we don’t need to be on someone who is going to play for a promoted side which offers up a lot more options from a betting point of view. That said it stands to reason that the teams higher up the table are going to score more goals so in theory players for those clubs are going to be more likely to top score.
I think the thing to concentrate on is the need to be the main man. If we can be on a penalty taker as well then that is all the more sweet as he’ll get a few cheap goals in that manner. When you narrow it down using those trends the market is a little easier to manage.
I have a sneaky suspicion that Bristol City might be sleepers this season and if they are then Tommy Conway will need to score a lot of goals and at 50/1 I think it is worth paying to see how he goes. The Robins bought a couple of wide forwards or wingers in during January so the ammunition for him should come naturally and while I’m not one to read too much into pre-season I do think it is massive when a striker has scored goals and got his confidence up.
Conway bagged four in a friendly against Swindon and a brace against Oxford and while those are both lower league opposition, goals are goals where a striker is concerned. There is no shortage of creativity at Bristol City and in a league where a lot of defences play with a high line, his directness and pace should be a real asset. Last season was his first real senior season and he bagged nine goals in 34 games, which doesn’t sound much but he has been a regular scorer at youth level and notched in two of the last three games of last season including against Burnley. He feels like a huge improver this term and at 50/1 I’ll gladly pay to see how strong the improvement is.
Back T.Conway Top Goalscorer (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 51.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-4)