Antonio Conte has been replaced by Maurizio Sarri, with the heavy-smoking former Napoli manager favouring an attacking approach, meaning the only side left in the top six with a defensive outlook are Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
That means the race for the Golden Boot in the Premier League this term should be wide open, something which is reflected in the current bet. Last season’s main contenders Harry Kane and Mo Salah have both suffered a slow start to the season as they look to shake off World Cup fatigue and a shoulder injury respectively, although Kane did his case no harm with a double at the weekend.
So who will finish the season as the Premier League’s top scorer? In this article we take a look at the main runners and riders.
The Belgian forward had a fantastic World Cup over the summer and has returned to Stamford Bridge full of confidence and energy. Sarri’s system gives Hazard much more freedom than the ones he has played in before with Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho.
Hazard has scored 6 goals so far this term and sits top of the scoring charts at time of writing, barring injury he is likely to be sitting in the same position at the end of May.
The Tottenham forward won the Golden Boot at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, but there are clear issues with the England striker. Harry Kane has never been a clinical finisher such as Thierry Henry or Ruud Van Nistelrooy, instead what he has been is a prolific shot-taker.
Over the past 5 seasons he has taken the second highest amount of shots across Europe, an average of just under 7 per game. However, since his injury against Bournemouth last season, his shots per game have dipped to 1.8. Something’s not right with Kane, whether that be physical or tactical, it needs to be rectified if he is to finish top scorer this season. His two goals away from home at the weekend may put him back on track though.
The Egyptian took the Premier League by storm last season and finished top of the scoring charts with 32 goals in 38 games. His form in front of goal was somewhat of a shock for fans and pundits as he had been renowned for lacking composure in the box at both Roma and Chelsea.
The Liverpool forward has scored just once this season and has missed several good opportunities for his team. His early season form suggests that last season may have been a bit of a blip but time will tell whether it’s just a short-term loss of confidence.
Without a doubt, Manchester City should be considered as favourites for the Premier League such is the quality and depth of their squad. Their talisman Sergio Aguero has notched 5 times this season (same as Harry Kane) and often proves the difference for Guardiola’s men.
Injury has plagued him since his arrival in England, something which he revealed in the recent Amazon Prime documentary on the Citizens. Those problems have harmed his chances of winning the golden boot in the past, but if he can just stay fit this season he will be a real contender to steal Mo Salah’s crown. He is currently carrying a heel injury which means he’s not 100% fit but hopes that he can shake this off during October.
Predicting anything in football is a tricky business, and last season we suggested that Sergio Aguero would top the scoring charts. Our logic was solid, but the emergence of Mo Salah scuppered our prediction.
This season there could be another unlikely contender for the golden boot, Danny Ings may well score buckets of goals at Southampton, Sadio Mane could replace Mo Salah as Liverpool’s talisman. Despite this, our shout for top scorer is between Chelsea’s Eden Hazard who seems to be making the step-up to the elite level of European players and Harry Kane who leads the line for Spurs.