Four of the top nine in sports.bwin’s Euro 2016 final first-goalscorer market have either plied their trade at Manchester United in the past or are still on the stumbling Premier League giants’ books, but it’s tough to make a strong case for any of them bagging the opener in Paris.
Cristiano Ronaldo finally managed a Euro 2016 first goal last time out against Wales, but like the Real Madrid superstar’s previous efforts in the tournament, his strike came after the half-time oranges had done the rounds.
The 31-year-old ranks a poor 9/2 second-favourite in the final on that form, particularly in relation to 9/1 teammate Nani, with two of Valencia’s newest signing’s three Euro 2016 efforts coming before the break, one of which broke the deadlock against Iceland in Portugal’s opening fixture.
France’s Old Trafford-linked pair, current United forward Anthony Martial and former charge Paul Pogba, who’s rumoured to be on the way back to the North West this summer, have managed just the one strike between them, so 7/1 and 15/2 respectively about them opening the scoring shouldn’t be touched.
The remaining five players among the market leaders are all French, but with neither Andre Pierre-Gignac (6/1) nor Kingsley Coman (8/1) starting a knockout fixture so far, this looks, in essence, between three red-hot Les Bleus heroes.
West Ham’s Dimitri Payet (7/1) has done remarkably well to keep pace in the scoring charts, with three so far, but two of the classy number 10’s strikes have come in the dying deaths of games, with his only first goal nabbed in the 90th-minute against Albania.
Eliminating Payet leaves a straight shootout between tournament top scorer Antoine Griezmann, at 4/1, and forward partner Olivier Giroud at 5s.
Griezmann may have grabbed much of the applause thanks to his stellar tally of six strikes so far, but the Atletico Madrid marksman hadn’t managed a first goal prior to his 45th-minute penalty against Germany last time out.
On the other hand, Giroud already had two prior to the semi-final and is arguably due another, having become the first man on the Euro 2016 scoresheet with his second-half header against Romania in France’s first group match, along with the Arsenal hunk’s 12th-minute effort in the 5-2 quarter-final win over Iceland.
With that in mind, Giroud at 5/1 is the value pick for first scorer.