A glance through bwin.com’s market for next season’s Premier League top scorer sees current Golden Boot holder Sergio Aguero priced up at 3/1 favourite, with Chelsea’s Diego Costa, who bagged 20 times in 26 top-flight matches during his first campaign in England, next at 11/2.
The deadly duo take a huge chunk out of the market, with Tottenham’s Harry Kane third-favourite all the way back at 14/1, but considering Aguero and Costa’s respective injury records, getting behind a contender attracting double-digit odds is essential.
Last term was only the second campaign in six in which the Argentine managed to make 32 league starts or more, while Costa missed 12 Chelsea fixtures in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, thanks to the Spa-zilian’s famously unreliable hamstrings.
From the next tier of hopefuls, lines should be drawn through 20/1 Liverpool centre-forward Daniel Sturridge (never fit), his soon-to-be teammate Christian Benteke at the same price (too short) and new Chelsea loanee Radamel Falcao (won’t get enough games) at 25/1, leaving a few likely lads in with a shout.
Wayne Rooney is of interest at 16/1, after Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal hinted that his captain will be given the chance to stake a claim for the sole centre-forward spot at Old Trafford, but the 29-year-old is yet to top the Premier League charts in 11 years with the Red Devils, despite landing 26-plus goal hauls twice.
Neither Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (16/1) nor 20/1 teammate Olivier Giroud have shown enough goalscoring consistency during their careers to suggest they’ll score 27 in 2015/16, that being the average Golden Boot-winning tally over the past six years, while Kane could yet be a one-season wonder waiting to be worked out.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is an intriguing runner at 20/1, as the PFA Player of the Year has improved on his all-competition goals record in each of his three years in west London, notching 13 strikes in 2012/13, 17 the following season, and 19 in the last campaign.
The 24-year-old fired 20 times during his last Ligue 1 season with Lille and boasts 14-goal Premier League hauls in each of the past couple of terms under Jose Mourinho.
Crucially for a Golden Boot wager, he takes all of the Blues’ penalties. You could do a lot worse than backing the Belgian to follow up his fine 2014/15 showing with a new trinket.