The 2017-18 Premier League season kicks off on Friday and now is the time of year where most of us spend hours putting together our fantasy football team and making our season-long bets.
One of the most popular bets to make before the season begins is who is going to win the Premier League Golden Boot come May.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane has topped the chart for each of the past two seasons but a change of scenery at home may hinder the England international in his bid to join Thierry Henry in winning the Golden Boot three times in a row.
Wembley is the new home for Spurs this season and based on their performances in Europe last season, top four may a struggle for the North London club this season. They failed to progress from their Champions League group which consisted of AS Monaco, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow – looking leggy in the home ties. Perhaps the Wembley pitch being much bigger than that at White Hart Lane didn’t favour Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Kane has been made the 3/1 favourite at NetBet and several other bookmakers. One big advantage the 24-year-old has over a number of his rivals is that he has no competition in the starting lineup – therefore he’ll start close to all 38 matches this season subject to injury or suspension.
Another player who has little competition for the central striker role is Manchester United’s £75 million summer signing, Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian finished runner-up for the Golden Boot last season and in fourth place the season before, whilst playing for an Everton side that weren’t challenging for a top four spot.
You can expect Lukaku to start the majority of games also, with Jose Mourinho preferring Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial playing out wide. The Portuguese manager could very well rotate during Champions League weeks though. The former-Chelsea youngster may also suffer a disadvantage in that Manchester United don’t create all that many chances and are slow in their build up play. With odds of 4/1 this may not represent great value.
Pep Guardiola is spoiled for choice in attack as Manchester City head into the 2017-18 Premier League season as the pre-season favourites once again. For options up top he has both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus who are third and fourth respectively in the bookmakers’ favourites for the Golden Boot, with odds of 7/1 and 8/1.
Jesus looked excellent at the end of last season after only joining in January and suffering an injury. The Brazilian displaced Sergio Aguero too putting doubts over the Argentine’s future at the club. It appears Aguero is going to remain a City striker for the upcoming season and the duo could form one of the deadliest attacks in Premier League history.
Outside of the main four, Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette comes in at 11/1. He’s been prolific in France for the past three seasons but will he be able to carry that over into the Premier League? The Frenchman hasn’t been trusted by his national manager, has a low goal ratio in the Champions League and also has the likes of Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck to compete with week in, week out.
Arsenal teammate Alexis Sanchez is 12/1 but I can’t see the Chilean outscoring the rest of the Premier League, and that’s even if he’s still at the Emirates come September. In the final 12 months of his contract and wanting a move away from the club doesn’t have the making of a top scorer.
Alvaro Morata is 11/1 and with Diego Costa’s future at Chelsea seemingly distinct the Spaniard can be expected to start the majority of games this season. Though he does have Michy Batshuayi to contend with, whilst manager Antonio Conte uses all three substitutes every single game – could Morata be one of those regularly substituted?
A complete long shot but Bournemouth’s Jermain Defoe is 50/1. The 34-year-old did have a dreadful second half of the season at Sunderland last campaign, but Bournemouth do play an attacking style of football so who knows?