The top goalscorer odds for the 2011-12 Premier League season have been unveiled by bwin, with five players assuming the mantle of favourites.
Fernando Torres, Robin van Persie, Carlos Tevez, Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney are all priced at 8/1 to win the Barclays Golden Boot.
This means that a successful £25 free bet on any one of the five to score more goals than anyone else in the league, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £225.
Tevez looks an obvious choice given his efforts last season, when he was joint-top scorer in the league with 20 goals.
The Manchester City striker has been linked with a move away to Eastlands but with Inter Milan ruling themselves out of the race to sign him on financial grounds, it looks increasingly likely that he will stay with the Citizens for another season.
Arsenal’s Van Persie is likely to offer stiff competition to Tevez as long as he can stay fit. The Dutchman scored 18 times last season, but only made 25 starts to Tevez’s 32.
A similar case could be made for Manchester United star Javier Hernandez. Used sparingly at first – making just four starts in the opening ten games – the Mexican sparked into life in the new year, scoring nine goals in 15 appearances.
Rooney, Hernandez’s strike partner at Old Trafford, had a poor season in front of goal by his high standards, scoring just 11 goals in 31 appearances.
However, as the season drew to a close he was looking more like the player who scored 26 times in 32 league appearances during the 2009-10 campaign.
As such, those looking to bet on Rooney will be hoping he starts the new season where he left off last time around.
The remaining member of the five, Fernando Torres, looked out of sorts for the whole of last year.
But with a summer’s rest, there is a feeling that a fit Torres could once again recapture his form and re-emerge as one of the world’s leading strikers.
Spare a thought, too, for Dimitar Berbatov. Last season’s top scorer along with Tevez, the Bulgarian fell out of favour at Old Trafford in the title run-in because of the form shown by Hernandez.
But should he win his place back in the side – either through form or injury – the 30-year-old could be a good outside bet at 25/1.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.