This season we have already bared witness to a few surprising score lines, we have seen Manchester United win 8-2 against Arsenal, we saw Manchester City smash Man United 6-1 and Spurs 5-1, we’ve even witnessed Fulham hit 6 against QPR! It is literally raining goals in the Premier League this year with a total of 256 goals scored after only 9 games (144 Home goals, 112 Away goals) – basically 28 goals per weekend. To put this in perspective the teams in the Primera BBVA in La Liga have scored 218 goals in total (136 Home goals, 82 Away goals) 24 goals per weekend. So the Premier League is producing goals goals goals, but who are the top contenders for this seasons Golden Boot? Last season Tevez and Berbatov shared the accolade, but it doesn’t look like they will be in the mix this season so let’s check out the runners.
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – 9 goals in 8 games – Strike Rate 0.88
Aguero came to these shores with a big reputation, a player touted as possibly the best up-and-coming striker in the world and the boy hasn’t disappointed. We have seen players come in to the Premier League and taken a season or so to settle, not this kid, he is already on fire with 9 goals in only 8 games, a truly amazing start to his Premier League career.
His chances of winning the Golden Boot this season are fairly high, he plays for the Premier League’s current top side, who seem to be scoring goals for fun it seems all season. Obviously injuries could keep the little man from being the best of the best this season, but with the pace, skill and finishing ability he has, you will be hard pushed to find a better striker in the league.
Predicted Finish: Golden Boot Winner
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United – 9 goals in 8 games – Strike Rate 0.88
Wayne Rooney is an experienced Premier League striker now since breaking through with Everton as a 16 year old and he has started this season well; 9 goals in 8 games makes impressive reading for England’s talisman and Rooney the only Englishman in the top 5 scorers of the Premier League so far.
But the a Golden Boot is an accolade that Rooney has never won, his best season in the scoring charts was the 2009/10 season where he notched 26 league goals, the winner that year was Didier Drogba with 29 goals. This was also the only season where Wayne has managed to get over 20 league goals, having finished last season with a mere 11 goals from 28 games played. The history books aren’t backing Rooney, but he needs a big season to establish himself as one of the most deadly strikers around, could this be his year?
Predicted Finish: 4th place
Edin Dzeko – Manchester City – 8 goals in 7 games – Strike Rate 0.875
Bosnia & Herzegovina striker Dzeko has well and truly settled in the Premier League following his big money move to Manchester City. For many it take a while to settle in to Premier League life and during his few months in the Premier League last season reviews were mixed for the big man who arrived with a big reputation.
This season he has got off to a flyer and looks like he is ready to reach the heights he did in the Bundesliga. For Wolfsburg he was one of the deadliest strikers around, able to score any type of goal, with either foot or his head, he’s got it all. In the 2008/09 season he managed to score 26 goals in 32 league games (0.81 ratio) and the following year in the 2009/10 season 22 goals in 34 league games (0.64 ratio) so he is used to hitting more than 20. But with Aguero the goal machine that he is, will Dzeko get as many not being the number 1 striker?
Predicted Finish: 3rd place
Robin Van Persie – Arsenal – 7 goals in 9 games – Striker Rate 0.77
Robin Van Persie has been around a long time, but has never hit over 20 Premier League goals. His best season was his last, where he managed to hit 18 goals in 25 games (0.72 ratio) which is pretty good. But this tells the tale of Van Persie’s plight as a Premier League striker, last season he only managed 25 league games. In fact the most league games he has ever played is only 28 back in the 2008/09 season, he always seems to get injured.
There is no doubt that Van Persie is a striker that oozes class, he can play a target man role, get deep and involved with play, be a danger in the box and also a danger at free kicks, so he has plenty of opportunity to score goals. This season Arsenal are relying on him to be their main goal threat and let’s face it, if Van Persie isn’t playing they have no other real 20-goal-a-season men. For me, if he is fit and plays enough games he will be up there, we will have to wait and see how many games he can play. In Van Persie’s last 36 games he has managed to hit 30 goals, impressive.
Predicted Finish: 5th place (will be top 3 if stays injury free)
Luis Suarez – Liverpool – 4 goals in 9 games – Strike Rate 0.44
Luis Suarez is starting his first full season in the Premier League after impressing in the short time he had following his arrival at Liverpool during the January transfer window. Suarez managed 4 goals in 13 games (0.30 ratio) hardly prolific, but what it did do was give him a solid base to build on this season. Since then Suarez went out to the Copa America and was voted player of the tournament scoring 4 goals in 6 games.
He seems to just love scoring goals, but there are some concerns. Firstly, he has played a lot of football over the past 12 months and with the Premier League more demanding than ever, he may feel the burn. Secondly, where someone like Van Persie has injury problems, Suarez has rage problems and potential red cards could cost him playing time. His record suggests he will score whenever plays, having scored 81 goals in 110 league games for Ajax (0.73 ratio), so he will be there or thereabouts and a lot will depend on how Liverpool play this season.
Predicted Finish: 2nd Place
Darren Bent – Bent is a proven Premier League goalscorer, but if Villa struggle so could he. 3 Goals in 8 Games – Strike Rate 0.375
Emmanuel Adebayor – Adebayor needs a big season to prove he still has it, but with how Spurs play away from home, will he get enough goals? 3 Goals in 6 Games – Strike Rate 0.50
Mario Balotelli - No doubt Balotelli has bags of talent, but will he get enough games with Dzeko & Aguero? If he does he’s a definite contender. 5 Goals in 5 games – Strike Rate 100%
Demba Ba – Ba still needs to prove his pedigree but there is no doubt both he and Newcastle have made a great start to the season, will it continue? 5 Goals in 8 Games – Strike Rate 0.625
Jermain Defoe – The diminutive striker is no doubt one of the best finishers in the Premier League, but after last term he needs a big season. 3 Goals in 7 Games – Strike Rate 0.42
Daniel Sturridge – With Euro 2012 approaching Sturridge will want to impress, but the main problem is game time, will he get it? Looks promising. 4 Goals in 5 Games – Strike Rate 0.80
Fernando Torres – Torres looks like first choice at Chelsea due to some good performances so far this season, however he is not banging in the goals so we will have to see if he can find the touch, he has the talent. 2 goals in 6 Games – Strike Ratio 0.33