When bwin.com’s top goalscorer football betting market was released in June, five players were considered joint-favourites to win the Premier League golden boot.
Fernando Torres, Robin van Persie, Carlos Tevez, Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney were all priced at 8/1 to finish the season as the most prolific marksman.
However, with the new season about to start, the situation has changed dramatically.
Van Persie is now the market frontrunner with odds of 7/1, with the Manchester United pairing of Rooney and Hernandez just behind at 8/1.
Torres is also still in the picture with odds of 10/1, which puts him joint-fourth favourite alongside Liverpool’s Luis Suarez.
Tevez, on the other hand, has dropped out of contention after expressing his desire to leave Manchester City.
The Argentine wants to move to a club where he can be joined by his partner, Vanesa, and the couple’s two children, with the north-west of England apparently unsuitable.
Although a move has not yet been finalised, Tevez is expected to depart for pastures new and a replacement has already arrived in the form of Sergio Aguero.
Tevez would have been an obvious choice to win the golden boot given his success in front of goal last year.
The City captain finished last season as the Premier League’s joint-top scorer alongside Dimitar Berbatov, and the Manchester United star is expected to offer less of a challenge this time around having lost his place to Hernandez in the second half of the year.
But with the chances of Tevez playing a substantial number of games this year reduced, his odds on finishing top scorer have drifted from 8/1 to 13/1.
Van Persie is the natural successor to Tevez at the head of the market given his impressive strike-rate for Arsenal last season.
Although he scored two fewer goals than the 20 notched by the two leading players, the Dutchman made only 25 appearances to Tevez’s 31 and Berbatov’s 32.
With this in mind, a successful £25 free bet on Van Persie to finish top scorer, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £200.
Competition will be stiff from Hernandez, who also had an impressive strike-rate last season, and a revitalised Wayne Rooney, who had six months to forget at the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
Meanwhile, Suarez showed the sort of form which made him such a success at Ajax during his brief time at Liverpool earlier this year and will be looking to continue in a similar fashion.
Torres, the Uruguayan’s predecessor at Anfield, will also be an attractive prospect providing he recaptures his best form.
That said, the best outside bet could yet be on Aguero, who, at odds of 13/1, will be keen to follow in the footsteps of his fellow countryman Tevez.
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