The Championship’s golden boot race is usually an entertaining one, especially given how the contenders rotate due to promotion and relegation. Last term saw Ivan Toney smash records on his way to topping the charts with Brentford, firing them into the big time.
That leaves a new cast of contenders aiming to score their way into the top flight, either through promotion or by earning a major move. With an exciting fight in prospect, we’ve picked out our tips to finish as Championship top scorer this term.
Championship top scorer trends
The Championship is no longer the division of the simple target man, recent seasons have seen the top scorers come from more free-flowing sides. One consistent of late is that stronger sides tend to provide the leading scorers, a obvious point which is a marked change from the past when a single forward could fire his side towards safety and make a top scorer push.
Seven of the last eight winners have finished in the top six, including the joint-winners in 2019/20. Given that, we’ve backed three players who are all expected to contend for a playoff spot at least this term.
Championship 2021/22 top goalscorer predictions
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
It took me longer than it should have to get the current favourite for the golden boot on side. Mitrovic is coming off a poor season in the Premier League, scoring only three times in 27 appearances. It looked like his days were numbered with Scott Parker leaving him out frequently, but Marco Silva has arrived to give Mitrovic a new lease of life.
Having a new boss for Mitrovic could make all the difference to Fulham’s promotion hopes. The Serbian forward has scored 38 times in 57 Championship games for Fulham, twice firing them to promotion. He’s still a brilliant player and he’s likely to make a splash in a division which looks low on quality this term.
Silva’s style isn’t a major departure from what this Fulham side know. He should implement something close to what we saw from them in their 2018/18 promotion campaign, in which Mitrovic scored 12 times in 17 appearances after joining in January. He’s still capable of that kind of form and we’re backing him to have a great campaign.
Kieffer Moore (Cardiff)
Cardiff looked to have pulled off some great business when they added Moore from Wigan last summer, but their slow start hampered their season. Moore was consistent despite their other issues, scoring 20 goals in 40 starts. His form earned him a starting place for Wales at the Euros, which shows that he’s among the standout forwards in the division.
Cardiff did improve under new boss Mick McCarthy last term and the former Republic of Ireland boss is likely to have a strong season in south Wales. He inspired some strong displays from Moore in particular – he scored 12 of his 20 league goals in 22 starts for McCarthy.
That excellent form over the course of the season would be a big step up for a player who was the fourth-highest scorer in the Championship last term. With Cardiff set to be stronger and McCarthy a better fit for Moore’s talents, we like his price of 16/1.
Arnaut Danjuma (Bournemouth)
Our final pick looks like great value at 33/1, with Bournemouth another side that we’ve backed for promotion. The Cherries made a poor start last season but Jonathan Woodgate’s hands-off approach after taking over in February brought the best out of their stars. That includes Arnaut Danjuma, who finished up the campaign with 17 goals in 31 starts.
Danjuma really kicked on under Woodgate, scoring 12 of his 17 goals under his watch. Parker is likely to make the forward central to what he’s doing at the Vitality, just as he pushed Mitrovic to the forefront in his successful promotion campaign with Fulham. Bournemouth don’t seem to be under pressure to sell him and keeping hold of a talent like that could make the difference to them going up or not. At 33/1, there’s plenty of value in backing Danjuma.
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