Friday 4th September 2020
In Across the Leagues today:
The football returns in England next weekend. On Wednesday, we got our first 2020/21 selection down in the Championship.
Today, we’re making our first moves in the Premier League…
The top of the Premier League 2020/21 Top Goalscorer market looks a lot like the 2019/20 pre-season list.
A process of elimination…
Our Across the Leagues picks aren’t about backing the favourites at short prices. Man City and Liverpool are the title favourites and picking one of their attackers ahead of another at short Win Only prices doesn’t appeal.
Updating one of my stats from this time last year, believe it or not, Sergio Aguero has now only won the Golden Boot once in his nine seasons at Man City. And both City and Liverpool share their goals around, as well as rotating players on a regular basis.
The same ‘shared goals’ point can be made about Man Utd’s front-line. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are 20/1 each. Penalty taker extraordinaire Bruno Fernandes is a top price 33/1 (Man Utd got more penalties than any other team last season. Fernandes scored four spot kicks in 12 games in the Premier League after making his debut in February).
Teenager Mason Greenwood is very much in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans, too. The 18-year-old got 10 goals in 31 league appearances last season (12 starts). He’s 33/1 in the betting. At the other end of the age spectrum, 31-year-old Odion Ighalo is in with the 100/1 shots. In all likelihood, the Nigerian will only perform the function of a squad player for United in the Premier League, coming off the bench, and only starting in the first team when injuries or fixture pile-ups dictate.
Injuries are another factor to consider. They can strike any player at any time, of course. But some are more prone to spells on the side-lines than others…
We’ve seen this repeatedly with Aguero, and also with Harry Kane for Tottenham. Injury often sees that pair miss a chunk of the campaign. In 2019/20, Aguero started just 18 of Man City’s 38 Premier League games. Kane started 29 for Spurs.
In comparison, the four men that finished in the four top spots and Each Way betting places last term, Vardy, Aubameyang, Danny Ings, and Raheem Sterling, all started 30+ Premier League games.
New arrivals have history against them…
Here’s one of my favourite stats ‘nuggets’ regarding the Top Goalscorer award:
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came closest to breaking that trend, finishing in a three-way tie in the 2018/19 Premier League Top Goalscorer chart after arriving from the German Bundesliga (Mo Salah won the Golden Boot by virtue of having more Assists).
As I mentioned recently, that stat puts a question mark by Chelsea’s big new signing up front, Timo Werner…
The 24-year-old, arriving from the Bundesliga where he was 2nd in the top scorer table in 2019/20, is priced around 10/1 to finish top of the pile in his first season in the Premier League.
Former Golden Boot winner, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reckons it might take Werner six months to adapt to life in England and the Premier League.
How many goals do you need?
In general, over the last decade in the Premier League, 17+ goals have been enough to put a player in with a chance an Each Way place payout.
The last two Premier League seasons have been particularly prolific, though. In 2018/19, the top four players all scored 21+ goals. Followed last time out in 2019/20 with the top four all finding the net 20 times or more.
You don’t have to win the league…
As with the Championship stats that we looked at earlier this week, the history books also tell us that you don’t need to be playing for a title-chasing team to get in with a shout for Top Goalscorer…
In the last 10 Premier League seasons, the league winner & top scorer combo has clicked into place on just two occasions. And in each of the last seven campaigns, it hasn’t happened at all:
Vardy can do it again…
Last season, Leicester finished 5th in the table, with Foxes striker Jamie Vardy winning the Golden Boot.
Vardy was a winning 20/1 and 18/1 pick for us last season. With Jamie still very much the main man up front for Leicester, and manager Brendan Rodgers a big fan of his, Vardy is likely to start 30+ games once again, injury permitting of course.
His Premier League scoring record is exceptional…
Jamie Vardy – Premier League Top Goalscorer record:
2019/20 – 23 goals (1st place – Golden Boot)
2018/19 – 18 goals (5th)
2017/18 – 20 goals (4th)
2016/17 – 13 goals
2015/16 – 24 goals (joint-2nd)
At 33 years of age, Vardy became the oldest ever winner of the Premier League Golden Boot. He’s still got bags of pace, takes penalties for Leicester, and looked as sharp as ever last season.
Having called time on his International career for England in 2018, Vardy’s game-time will be dedicated to the Premier League. If recent domestic campaigns are anything to go by, Jamie is only likely to be rested for cup fixtures (with Kelechi Iheanacho the man that usually steps in for Leicester).
With all of the above in mind, and odds of 18/1 and 16/1 available, Vardy has to go in the book again this season.
A 100/1 outsider…
With one of those four Each Way places in mind at a quarter of the odds, it’s well worth considering a name from further down the Top Goalscorer betting list, too…
That man for me is Fulham striker, Aleksandar Mitrovic at 100/1.
I spent much of last season cursing every time he scored for Fulham in the Championship, seeing as we were on top scorer rival, Ollie Watkins (in the end, my 33/1 Each Way pick Watkins finished one goal behind Mitrovic).
Last year in the Championship, Mitrovic was the 6/1 pre-season favourite, and he delivered on those odds, with 26 league goals.
This time, he’s back in the Premier League, where he got 11 goals for the Cottagers when they were relegated in 2018/19.
Still only 25 years old, Mitrovic is an accomplished forward who knows how to get himself into goalscoring positions. Being Fulham’s chief penalty taker helps his tally, too. Last season he struck from the spot four times in the Championship.
Aleksandar scored for Serbia against Russia last night. If he repeats his recent-seasons trick of starting the campaign with a flurry of goals, then his 100/1 price could get chopped by October…
In the Premier League last time out, Teemu Pukki started like a train for then newly-promoted Norwich, bagging six goals in his first five Premier League outings. And as we’ve noted above, you don’t have to be pulling on the kit for a team in the title race to put yourself in with a chance of an Each Way spot in the Top Goalscorer chart.
At 100/1, 80/1 or 66/1 Each Way, Mitrovic is well worth following as an outside chance this season.
Premier League 2020/21
Each Way terms: 1/4 odds 1-4 places.
I’ll be back next week, when we’ll be continuing to build up to kick-off with more pre-season picks for the book.