It’s that time of year. The sun is shining, the pitches are laid, and the players are prepared. The Premier League is back. Every striker, and even some midfielders, once again are vying for the coveted prize of being the leagues top goalscorer throughout the season.
Last year, Robin Van Persie shook off his injury prone tag and saved Arsenal from possible mid table obscurity with over 30 goals in all competitions to ensure Champions League qualification for the Gunners.
Who will prevail as the most lethal marksman this season? We take a look at ten possible contenders.
- Robin Van Persie: Manchester United – William Hill odds: 8-1
It’s impossible not to back Van Persie to repeat his goalscoring antics for the red half of Manchester this season, 30 Premier League goals, salvaging Arsenals Champions League status, the Dutchman has all the tools to once again obliterate opposing defences of any level. He had good service from the likes of Arteta last season, this year he will have the extremely talented, albeit unproven in the Premier League skills of Shinji Kagawa, the man who provided the majority of balls for Robert Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund in their domination of the Bundesliga. Not to mention the creative flair of Nani, and the ever present workhorse in Wayne Rooney.
- Sergio Aguero: Manchester City – William Hill odds: 7-1
Most strikers in their first season of Premier League football, especially foreigners, usually require six months to a year of bedding in the team, and becoming accustomed to the physicality of the English game. Aguero smashed that stereotype into the back of the net last season, along with an incredible 23 goals in 34 appearances for the Manchester City, including the most dramatic of last minute goals on the final day of the season, which clinched City’s first title in 44 years. With the reigning champions team having had a year to gel together, expect ‘Kun’ Aguero to once more lead the goalscoring charts.
- Fernando Torres: Chelsea – William Hill odds: 8-1
Once regarded as one the of worlds finest strikers, Torres’ stock has taken a massive tumble over the past few seasons, being unable to hit a barn door if it was right in front of his face. This is not entirely his fault though, the ever menacing presence of Drogba, along with a lack of service many a game, has left Torres feeling the pressure of living up to his £50 million price tag. This season could be the difference maker for him, with Drogba leaving for pastures new in China, the signings of some incredible attacking talent in Eden Hazard, and Oscar, along with finishing as both a European Championship winner and it’s top goalscorer. Torres this year has the chance to finally regain the form which caused fear in the hearts of even the most staunch defenders.
- Wayne Rooney: Manchester United – William Hill odds: 7-1
Constantly the tireless workhorse for United, and with an eye for the spectacular goal, Wayne Rooney, after a disappointing Euro campaign, will be looking once more to show the rest of the Premier league why he is one of the best strikers on offer. With 27 goals in the league last season, Rooney now plays alongside the incredible talent of the man who finished above him in the goalscoring charts last season in Van Persie. If they can click as a unit, then don’t be surprised to see them both finish with 25+ goals once more, and quite likely a similar number in assists.
- Carlos Tevez: Manchester City – William Hill odds: 16-1
Carlos Tevez, the enigma of Premier League strikers, a man, who with his unpredictability, can create, or destroy either the opposition, or his own team. Before he decided to take a vacation last season, Tevez was regarded as one of the most deadly strikers in the league, scoring 20 goals in the 2010/11 season. Now, after apparently settling down at last, City boss Roberto Mancini has the enviable strike-force in the Argentine duo of both Tevez and Aguero. Should Tevez keep his house in order for an entire season, don’t be surprised to see him ruin the Premier Leagues finest defences alongside his international compatriot.
- Papiss Cisse: Newcastle United – William Hill odds: 20-1
What a fantastic signing by Newcastle last season, bought in January to play alongside his international team mate in Demba Ba, Cisse lit up the league with 13 goals, some of them which will never be replicated for their sheer quality. After six months playing to Newcastle’s system, Cisse now has a full season to replicate the dazzling form that helped Newcastle chase for the Champions league spots all the way to the end.
- Mario Balotelli: Manchester City – William Hill odds: 20-1
With Tevez once again being at risk of deciding to go perfect his golf game in Buenos Aries, another enigmatic striker in Balotelli could fire City to glory. With his random off the field antics being the source of hilarious, embarrassing, and sometimes downright stupidity, Mario has the undoubted talent to be one of the best strikers in the world. Should he keep his head down and mature, there will be no defender who can stop the Italian.
- Lukas Podolski: Arsenal – William Hill odds: 20-1
While losing his edge playing on the wing for Bayern Munich a few seasons ago, Podolski finally reminded fans worldwide how capable he is of hitting the back of the net last season for FC Koln, scoring 18 goals for his home town side. Although unable to save them from relegation, his incredible performances attracted the interest of Arsenal, who were adding to their strike force to prepare for the loss of their talisman Van Persie.
Podolski has big shoes to fill, and not much time to start hitting the ball past the keeper with them, but with the influential Carzola behind him, and another top striker in Olivier Giroud beside him, don’t be too shocked to see him looking above the rest of the goalscorers when this season is all said and done.
- Romelu Lukaku: West Brom – William Hill odds: 50-1
A dark horse for this seasons top scorer, yet has all the raw talent to achieve the prestigious honour, Lukaku didn’t see much game time for Chelsea last year. This year he has been given a chance on loan at West Brom, a club he is certain to play regularly for. With a style of play similar to his idol Didier Drogba, what Lukaku lacks in experience, he makes up with his strength, determination, and as proven in Belgium, his ability to find the net once given the chance. Expect big things from him this season as he looks to impress both the West Brom and Chelsea managers.
- Rafael Van der Vaart: Tottenham Hotspur – William Hill odds: 66-1
With spurs only experienced striker being the ever inconsistent Jermain Defoe, the back-up the young and unproven Harry Kane, and with the Adebayor deal remaining stagnant. Van der Vaart will have the burden of providing the goals for Spurs this season. While not an out and out striker, the Dutchman still managed an impressive 11 goals in the Premier League last season, with only Adebayor scoring more for Tottenham. With the imposing presence of Sigurdsson in midfield and the lightning fast pace of Bale, Van Der Vaart should have plenty of chances to improve his goalscoring prowess as Tottenham chase for Champions League football once more.
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