Top Goalscorer Preview – Robin To Swoop
World Cup 2014
The Top Goalscorer market is one of the most popular for World Cup fans but where should your money be going?
Cristiano Ronaldo (12/1) and Luis Suarez (14/1) shared European football’s golden shoe for the 2013/14 season with 31 league goals apiece, and hence go into this tournament as the form strikers in world football.
However, with Suarez undergoing keyhole surgery on his knee and Ronaldo missing a chunk of the conclusion to Real Madrid’s season there’s a danger that a long domestic campaign may have taken its toll on the pair.
Lionel Messi was a close third in the running with 28 goals and is the market leader here at odds of 8/1. But, by his own very high standards, the Argentine has looked slightly below his best this season, and there are also question marks surrounding his impact on the world stage in the shirt of La Albiceleste.
Completing the trio of La Liga forwards, Diego Costa (20/1) was fourth on the 2013/14 golden shoe list with 27 league goals for Atletico Madrid.
Again, the Spaniard has had injury problems towards the end of the season and it is also questionable whether he will be a regular in Vincente del Bosque’s side, with the Spanish sometimes preferring to play without a recognised striker. Another one to avoid.
The wise money in this market will be on Brazilian poster boy Neymar. He hasn’t had the most productive of times since joining Barcelona last summer, but his style of play is better suited to the national team.
The former Santos man has scored 30 goals in 47 international matches, including a recent hat-trick against South Africa and four in the Confederations Cup. A season playing European football will stand Neymar in good stead and at odds of 12/1 he’s a good value bet.
Likewise his teammate Fred at odds of 20/1. The former Lyon striker admits to indulging too much in Rio’s famous party lifestyle when first returning to the Brazilian capital from France.
But has now put that behind him and is making great waves with the national team and on the domestic scene. He outscored Neymar in the Confederations Cup with five goals and seems to thrive as his younger strike partner takes the majority of the limelight.
I’m not sure that Robin van Persie would necessarily quantify as an outsider at odds of 28/1, but he certainly seems to be slipping under the radar.
The Dutchman has had his injury problems this season, but unlike Ronaldo, Suarez and Costa those issues were earlier in the season and towards the end of the campaign he was just getting back to full fitness and will therefore arrive in Brazil fresh and ready to go.
He’s one of the first names on Louis van Gaal’s teamsheet and
he was the top scorer in European World Cup qualification with 11 goals in a Dutch side that scored 34 in just 10 matches.
The downside is Netherlands’ tough draw, but if they can get out of Group B and have a run to the latter stages of the competition then RVP is an outstanding each-way bet at 28/1.