With the Premier League returning tomorrow with the curtain-raising clash of Manchester United and Leicester City – many of the league’s top strikers will be looking to start the campaign firing on all cylinders in the hope of attaining the Golden Boot come the end of the season.
Liverpool’s Mo Salah set the benchmark last time around – the Egyptian firing a stunning 32 goals in his debut campaign at Anfield to see off the challenge of Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
While the likes of Kane, Salah & co. are almost certain to be among the contenders – given the vast array of attacking talent sure to be on display, we’ve taken a look at five outsiders who may well be worth a punt to take the accolade this campaign. (odds courtesy of Paddy Power via OddsChecker)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal – 6/1
Aubameyang’s performances since joining Arsenal in January went somewhat under the radar given the fact the club were out of the race for Europe, but his return for the Gunners has been quite impressive to date – the Gabon international grabbing 10 goals in 13 league appearances in his time at the Emirates. A previous top scorer in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, Aubameyang is a proven goalscorer, clinical when the opportunity is presented to him. He has proven the most popular choice among punters as an outside bet for the forthcoming campaign and given his record it’s easy to see why – at 6/1 he represents a worthy punt, as he is likely to bag 25+ goals if previous seasons are anything to go by.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – 40/1
While they have lost the creative spark that is Riyad Mahrez, Leicester still possess talent in abundance with Jamie Vardy leading the line. The England international has bagged 57 goals across the last three campaigns, finishing with an impressive return of 20 last season despite the Foxes’ struggle to find their best form. Should Leicester pick up wins, goals from Vardy are almost a formality. His style of play makes him a nightmare for defenders, and despite his high odds, there is little or no doubt he will be among the contenders should Leicester find their feet this campaign.
Alexis Sanchez – Manchester United – 33/1
The Chilean has been in good form on United’s pre-season tour, bagging goals against Real Madrid and Club America, and with his first full season ahead of him – he will be keen to prove his doubters wrong at Old Trafford. Sanchez has a fantastic goalscoring record in the Premier League, last season being the only occasion he did not reach double figures. If deployed in a central role and capable of finding his best form, Sanchez has the potential to be unplayable, and could yet be a worthy shout for the crown – given his 24-goal haul for Arsenal two seasons ago.
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – 15/2
The Argentine was in top form firing a brace past Chelsea in a routine win in the Community Shield last weekend, and should he remain fit – 25 goals is almost a certainty. Aguero’s ability to score multiple times in one game makes him a worthy shout, with the year-old scoring hat-tricks on more than one occasion in 2017/18. He has scored at least 20 goals in the last four consecutive campaigns, despite only playing about 30 times. On form, Aguero is easily the most clinical striker in the division.
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool – 25/1
The Brazilian enjoyed his best goalscoring campaign with the Reds last year, scoring 15 times in the league. His role as the central striker means that he often finds himself in goalscoring positions more often than Liverpool’s other forwards, and should Mo Salah not quite be able to replicate his stunning form last campaign, I expect Firmino to be more than capable of shouldering any potential burden. The former Hoffenheim man is cool and collected in front of goal, and should opportunities fall his way, he will most likely tuck them away. Firmino to score 20 goals this season would be far from surprising.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.