Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero can be top goalscorer

In-form: Sergio Aguero leads the Premier League scoring charts
In-form: Sergio Aguero leads the Premier League scoring charts

Just as the Premier League, which resumes this weekend, is shaping up for a tight title battle, so too is the race for the Golden Boot which goes to the top goalscorer.

Robin van Persie has hit the net more times than anyone else in the last two seasons, with Arsenal in 2011-12 and then following up with Manchester United.

He scored 30 and 26 times respectively, and that target range is likely to be required this time.

The United striker is a 9/2 chance as he chases a hat-trick, currently sitting on the seven-goal mark, one behind joint-leaders, Man City's Sergio Aguero and the Liverpool duo of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

Suarez hogs the limelight at Anfield with Sturridge playing second fiddle and the Uruguayan's strike rate in just six league outings is impressive at 1.33 per game and hence the layers have him 5/2 favourite.

Provided he's still at Liverpool come the end of the transfer window – Real Madrid are expected to make a move for him in January – then he has to have a major chance.

Van Persie has niggling injury problems which just might curtail his abundance between now and May, leaving Aguero as the best bet, especially each-way at 5/1.

He's City's main goal-grabber and should feature in all matches this season. City may not win any major trophies – they are false title favourites at 11/4 – but they score with abundance at the Etihad Stadium and that gives Aguero plenty of golden opportunities. With each-way paying 1/4 the odds, it means a profit if the agile Argentinian is in the top four and that, frankly, looks a certainty.

Another who catches the eye at a big price of 40/1 is Aston Villa's Christian Benteke. Currently on four, he has failed to find the 'onion bag' since mid-September but he has been sidelined with a hip injury. He'll be a permanent fixture in the Villa side from now until May, so has plenty of time to find his touch.

Villa aren't setting the league alight by any means. However, the majority of goals they do get are likely to come from the boot or head of Benteke and at odds which pay 10/1 for fourth spot, he's worth a small interest.

Meanwhile, recent defeats for Chelsea, City and Spurs, puts United back into the title picture. Only five points behind the Gunners and one in front of City, whose away form prove their undoing, the Red Devils have been cut from 15/2 to 5/1.

Premier League top scorer 2013-14: Suarez 5/2; Van Persie 9/2; Aguero 5/1; Sturridge 10/1; Giroud 16/1; Rooney 20/1; Remy, Negredo 25/1; Soldado, Lukaku and Benteke 40/1.

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