Robin van Persie hasn’t just raced into pole position for the Premier League Golden Boot with his hat-trick as Manchester United staged a dramatic recovery to beat 3-2 Southampton on Sunday. The Dutchman effectively slashed the tyres of the rest of the grid too with a masterful trio of strikes, twisting, poaching and heading his way to a 13/5 favourite’s tag.
While he deserves that status for slotting right in as the fulcrum of the Manchester United goalscoring machine, value can still be found in the odds of the former Arsenal man’s rivals to become top goalscorer.
Carlos Tevez only had to flail his leg out to a wayward Edin Dzeko effort to move up to 6/1 joint second-favourite alongside Fernando Torres by scoring Manchester City’s third goal against QPR.
I wrote last week that the rotation of Roberto Mancini’s talented striking quartet will make it tough for any one forward to get enough playing time for the top goalscorer’s crown, yet Tevez is establishing himself as the most dependable option in Sergio Aguero’s injury absence and an extended run as first-choice striker could see his odds cut again through the autumn.
Lukas Podolski opened his Arsenal goalscoring account in the Gunners’ hugely impressive victory at Liverpool and was subsequently cut from 33/1 to 25/1. These are another set of odds I would expect to see shortened over the next month or two with Arsenal’s new-look attack clicking into place and midfield maestro Santi Cazorla already showing signs of a near-telepathic understanding with the German international.
On the subject of superb Spanish signings, Michu’s odds were slashed again from 40/1 to 33/1 after the Swansea playmaker continued his run of scoring in every game to go level with Van Persie on four goals this season. Michael Laudrup’s Swans are the highest-scoring team so far this term with ten goals.
The odds of Van Persie finishing top goalscorer would be even shorter if an individual player’s fate was not so unpredictable over the course of the season. Unstoppable as he looks, it would only take a two-footed challenge (perhaps launched by Arsene Wenger from the sidelines when Arsenal visit Old Trafford on November 3rd) to throw things up in the air again.
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