Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Ahead of the final two weekends of the 2018/19 Premier League season, the race to finish as the division’s top marksman is fascinatingly close.
With just 2 Premier League fixtures left for each team to negotiate, last year’s leading scorer Mohamed Salah tops the charts with 21 goals, though his teammate Sadio Mane and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero are both breathing down the Egyptian’s neck with 20 goals each.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is just 1 goal further back on 19 goals, while the red-hot Jamie Vardy is lurking dangerously on the periphery of the contest with 18.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the contenders for this season’s Golden Boot along with the latest odds on them winning it.
Fixtures: (A) vs Newcastle, (H) vs Wolves
Liverpool wide attacker Mohamed Salah plundered an incredible 32 league goals in his debut season for the club last year, and while the Egyptian has failed to hit similarly explosive heights this time around, he is still on course to win successive Golden Boots as things stand.
In truth, Salah has enjoyed modest success since the turn of the New Year by his own high standards, scoring just 8 times in his 16 Premier League appearances since January 1st.
It’s also interesting to note that 7 of the 26-year old’s 8 Premier League goals in 2019 were scored against Brighton, Crystal Palace (2), Southampton and Huddersfield (2), which suggests that he has struggled to make an impact in Liverpool’s more difficult fixtures.
Liverpool play Newcastle and Wolves in their brace of remaining Premier League games – teams that rank in the division’s top 7 for their defensive records this season. With both games expected to be tight, Salah could find that his Golden Boot rivals pass him out on in the final stretch.
Fixtures: (H) vs Leicester City, (A) vs Brighton
Remarkably, perennial match-winner and goal scoring expert Sergio Aguero has only finished as the Premier League’s top scorer once in his Manchester City career.
Despite scoring 20+ goals in each of his last 5 league campaigns, Aguero’s chart topping 2014/15 season remains his only Golden Boot winning year.
This season, Aguero leads the line for title-chasing Manchester City, who will need their talismanic Argentine to produce the goal-scoring goods in the Citizens’ final 2 league matches to ensure that they successfully defend their crown.
Like his Golden Boot rival Mohamed Salah, Premier League goals have been a little thin on the ground for Aguero of late however- the 30-year old registered just 3 times in his last 8 appearances in the division.
Aguero will fancy his chances of enhancing his recent tally in games against Leicester and Brighton however – teams that have kept just 2 clean sheets in 16 and 15 matches respectively.
The Argentine needs to score just twice to move past Mohamed Salah (if the Egyptian fails to register himself), making bet365’s 2/1 odds on Aguero finishing as top scorer a cracking looking price.
Fixtures: (A) vs Newcastle, (H) vs Wolves
Like his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane is tasked with finding the goals he needs to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot in games against 2 of the division’s meanest defences.
Mane was unable to get his name on the scoresheet in either of Liverpool’s wins against Newcastle and Wolves earlier in the season, though the Senegalese international comes into the return matches in arguably better form than his main competitors.
The 27-year old left winger has notched 12 goals in his 16 Premier League appearances in 2019 so far, though 10 of those goals were registered in Liverpool’s fixtures at Anfield.
Mane is already enjoying his most prolific ever goal-scoring league campaign, and with him riding the crest of a wave right now, there is great value at 11/4 with bet365 in backing him to finish as the Premier League’s top marksman this term.
Fixtures: (H) vs Brighton, (A) vs Burnley
Flying under the radar a little, Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been scoring goals with relative consistency in recent weeks, pushing himself into Golden Boot winning contention in the process.
Having scored 5 times in his last 10 Premier League appearances, Aubameyang has done well to score every other game for an ailing Arsenal side that has lost 4 of it’s last 5 Premier League fixtures.
The Gunners will need to beat both Brighton and Burnley in their final 2 games to have any chance of stealing a top 4 place this season, and they will be counting on Aubameyang’s goal-scoring touch to help them on their way.
The 29-year old scored 3 times in his 2 appearances against the Seagulls and the Clarets earlier in the campaign, and if he can match those numbers in the return fixtures, Aubameyang could come from nowhere to nab the Golden Boot.
At 14/1 with bet365, the Arsenal attacker is priced incredibly generously even at this late stage – and remember, bet365 offer 1/3 each way odds if Aubameyang or any of the Golden Boot contenders finish in the top 2 places in the scoring charts.
Interesting Outsider: Jamie Vardy
Fixtures: (A) vs Man City, (H) vs Chelsea
With 11 goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has rocketed up the goalscoring charts with searing speed in the last couple of months.
The 32-year old is perpetual motion personified, and the England international is thriving under the direction of new Foxes’ manager Brendan Rodgers.
In comparison to his Golden Boot adversaries, Vardy faces a decidedly tough pair of opponents to close out his campaign in Man City and Chelsea – yet, the centre-forward’s record in games against teams from the “Big 6” is phenomenal.
Vardy has scored 31 times for Leicester against the division’s leading lights during his sparkling career, 4 of which were scored in games against them this season.
However, despite his electric form, it’s easy to see why bet365 have priced Vardy as long as 66/1 to win the Golden Boot.
Vardy needs 4 goals to catch and overtake Mohamed Salah at the top of the goalscoring charts – and that of course, is only if the Egyptian fails to add to his own tally for Liverpool.
Nevertheless, we think an each way bet on Vardy represents fantastic value at the price available. 2 goals would conceivably put Vardy in joint second place alongside Sergio Aguero and Sadio Mane, activating bet365’s 1/3 each way odds pay out in the process.
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