Mark O’Haire’s Euro 2016 Tips – Top Goalscorer
Top Goalscorer Betting
In the European Championships, five goals is usually enough to earn the accolade as the tournament’s top scorer, with the only player to have ever scored more in a single edition of the competition being Michel Platini back in 1984.
There are many things to take into consideration when looking for a top goalscorer bet, not just the form of the individual player or the style of their team, but also on which side of the draw they are and who their opponents will be in the group stages.
A weak looking group could be a chance for a player to rack up goals even if they are not in a particularly fancied side. For example, Oleg Salenko scored five of his tournament-equalling six goals at the 1994 World Cup in one group-stage game.
Group-stage goals are important – over the past five European Championships, 31 of the 42 goals (74%) scored by the 11 players who top-scored (or joint top-scored) came in the three pool matches. But with an abundance of defensively-minded nations arriving at Euro 2016, it can be tricky finding a brittle backline to expose.
So my first point of call is to support Olivier Giroud at 14/1 each-way. The Arsenal hitman has been well backed in the past fortnight as punters began to realise Didier Deschamps will play the forward through the middle of his favoured 4-3-3, with Antoine Griezmann operating on the left.
Giroud has scored 17 goals in 49 appearances for his country despite making only 26 starts, averaging a goal every 130 minutes for Les Blues.
The 29-year-old has netted 14 of his 17 international goals in the past 18 months with the dreamboat also notching 82 goals in 188 games for Arsenal since joining – that’s a goal every 2.29 games.
I’m not expecting France to destroy ultra-defensive Romania and Albania at the group-stage but we should be looking for a minimum of five goals from the hosts in their three pool encounters.
And considering Euros hosts’ or co-hosts’ have an excellent record at reaching the semi-finals, Les Blues and Giroud could enjoy six games this summer – more than enough opportunity for us to earn some place money.
Making A Marc
I’m a big fan of Austria having seen Das Team in close quarters on numerous occasions over the past four years. Marcel Koller’s built a dynamic side that’s fast, aggressive and lethal on the counter-attack. But the Alpine-nation also know how to hold the ball up and play patiently.
Lone striker Marc Janko (40/1) is the son of an Olympic javelin medallist and his hulking frame allows Austria an excellent outlet. The 6ft 4in bully flourished during qualification, scoring seven goals in nine outings and possesses an outstanding 26-goal haul in 51 caps for his country.
Despite his size, Janko is adept on the ground and it’s worth noting that only England and Germany managed more shots-on-target than the Austrians during qualification.
Janko scored his seven goals from just 24 attempts, including the only goal of the game in Russia with a wonderful improvised, athletic effort.
A kind draw should give Austria and Janko enough opportunity to get amongst the goals with an each-way wager seeing us profit from a place in the top-four of the market this summer.
Finally, no side came through qualifying having scored more goals than Poland’s 33 and, although 15 of those goals came against no-hopers Gibraltar, the White Eagles are still expected to continue their enjoyable offensive style this summer.
Robert Lewandowski is the obvious candidate to top the scoring charts having plundered 13 in qualification but it may pay to have an interest in his young accomplice Arkadiusz Milik at overpriced odds of 100/1.
Milik equalled Luis Suarez’s record for scoring in six successive Eredivisie games for Ajax this season and the 22-year-old, who once had trials at Spurs and Reading, registered six goals and six assists for the White Eagles during qualification, as well as hitting the woodwork twice in a second striker role.
A mobile and powerful left-footed front man, Milik has scored 10 times for Poland across 24 caps already, at a rate of one every 163 minutes. With the Poles only failing to score in two of 20 competitive matches in the past four years, expect Milik to be a menace alongside the more household name of his strike-partner.
Olivier Giroud to be Top Goalscorer @ 14/1 each-way
Marc Janko to be Top Goalscorer @ 40/1 each-way
Arkadiusz Milik to be Top Goalscorer @ 100/1 each-way
*Prices correct at time of publication.