Jamie Vardy, Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane? The Premier League's Golden Boot contenders are assessed
By Tim Clement
Last Updated: 05/02/16 3:07pm
We challenged the Soccer Saturday pundits to predict who will end the season as the Premier League's leading scorer, with a host of free-scoring frontmen providing fierce competition for the Golden Boot.
Jamie Vardy currently leads the scoring charts and comes up against joint favourite for the award on Saturday in Sergio Aguero, while Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Odion Ighalo are all enjoying prolific campaigns.
Here's a look at the front runners according to Sky Bet's Premier League odds and who Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Paul Merson are backing...
Jamie Vardy (5/2 with Sky Bet)
The Leicester striker leads the scoring charts after taking his tally to 18 with a midweek brace. He enjoyed a record-breaking 11-match scoring streak earlier this season and has three goals in his last two games, including a goal-of-the-season contender against Liverpool on Tuesday.
Sergio Aguero (5/2 with Sky Bet)
Sky Bet rate the Manchester City striker as the joint favourite to be the Premier League's top scorer despite currently trailing Vardy by five goals. The 27-year-old has hit top form again, with five goals from his last three league games, and a repeat of October's astonishing five-goal blitz against Newcastle would see him join Vardy at the top of the list.
Harry Kane (7/2 with Sky Bet)
The 22-year-old has muted suggestions of being a one-season wonder, scoring 14 goals in his last 15 appearances. His brace at Norwich on Tuesday night saw him remain two goals behind Vardy and a visit from Watford on Saturday could be a favourable opportunity to close that gap.
Romelu Lukaku (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Vardy's position at the top of the charts looked in danger as Lukaku went on a seven-match scoring run heading into Christmas. However, the Belgian's goals have dried up since - he has failed to score in his last five games - and he was forced off at half-time against Newcastle with a back injury on Wednesday night.
Odion Ighalo (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Vardy's remarkable success has arguably overshadowed the heroics of Watford's star man, who is still in the race to top the scoring charts with 14 to his name. The Nigerian also boasts the best consistency of all the contenders, having scored more goals than any player in the top four tiers of the English game in 2015. However, the Hornets' tepid start to 2016 has seen him add just a single goal to his league tally since the turn of the year.
Riyad Mahrez sits level on goals with Aguero with 13 but is rated a 50/1 chance having failed to net since his brace at Everton on December 19. Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (16/1) is a further goal back and has also gone off the boil, with the Gunners failing to score in their last three Premier League games. Jermain Defoe (150/1) and Georginio Wijnaldum (150/1) both look like they have too much work to do on nine goals, while pre-season favourites Diego Costa (50/1) and Wayne Rooney (80/1) have just eight and seven goals respectively.
What do the Soccer Saturday pundits say?
Matt Le Tissier says: I'd go with Aguero if he played every game. Would I trust him with my money though? I'm not so sure. Vardy had his remarkable 11-game run and then he's responded brilliantly to going a few games without finding the net and looks sharp again.
Le Tiss predicts: Jamie Vardy
Charlie Nicholas says: Vardy is just so hot-to-trot and I think the mini-break has helped him. I think what we've got here is a really intriguing battle between some great strikers. I tipped Harry Kane up a few weeks ago to be the top goalscorer on Soccer Saturday and I'm going to stick with that prediction. Yes, Tottenham rely on him a lot, but why wouldn't you? The way they play is just perfect for Kane. I would go against Aguero because of his injury record. Teams can also concentrate on marking Aguero while Spurs have more options in terms of goalscorers and Kane can score more types of goals. However, if I was having an each-way bet it would be Giroud because the amount of chances he gets at Arsenal.
Charlie predicts: Harry Kane
Pundits' Sky Bet tips
Find out what the pundits are tipping up for Man City v Leicester in their Sky Bet tips here.
Phil Thompson says: Aguero has to stay fit obviously with so many other strikers doing well and not seeming as susceptible to problems. Just look at Vardy, he had a groin operation a couple of weeks ago and he was back in 10 days. Vardy is also full of confidence but Aguero is just so consistent. I think the Manchester City man will finish as top scorer but I do think it will be tight.
Thommo predicts: Sergio Aguero
Paul Merson says: This is such a tough one to call because on one hand you've got Vardy with the goals in the bag but then you've got Aguero who could score 10 goals by the end of the month. Vardy is also going to play every single game but will Aguero? City have big aspirations in Europe and if they have a tough tie on the Tuesday is Aguero going to play 90 minutes on the Saturday? I don't think so. Then there's Lukaku in a free-flowing Everton side. He's the sort of striker that could come back in score seven in a row now, while Kane is a phenomenal player. However, I have to come back to Aguero's ability. Discounting Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he's the best striker in Europe along with Luis Suarez. He scores goals in batches and can have a hat-trick in 10 minutes.
Merse predicts: Sergio Aguero
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