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Euro 2016 is nearly upon us. All around Europe managers are putting the final touches to their squads for the eagerly anticipated tournament taking place in France. Football punters too are preparing their betting plans for four weeks of world class football.
As well as being able to bet on all of the 51 matches there are a host of outright betting options available to you. One of the most popular of these is the Top Goalscorer market. With Europe’s top marksmen in attendance it is sure to be a fierce battle for the Golden Boot.
So, let’s have a look at our options.
Cristiano Ronaldo (8/1 with BetVictor) – World football has been split in two camps for the past five years or so. There are those who believe that Argentina’s Lionel Messi is the best player in the game and those who believe that crown belongs to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The two are used to battling it out to be the top goalscorer in La Liga but with no Messi at the Euros, Ronaldo can assert his dominance providing Portugal have a good tournament.
Thomas Muller (8/1 with Betfair) – Muller has never really been considered on the level of Ronaldo and Messi but there is no doubting his ability to produce on the biggest stages. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time and finished joint top scorer at the 2010 World Cup before winning that honour outright in Brazil in 2014. Germany are well fancied and the longer their run in the tournament goes the more goals Muller is going to score.
Antoine Griezmann (10/1 with Sky Bet) – France have some wonderful attacking players, each of whom are able to wow the home crowd this summer but Antoine Griezmann is perhaps the best of the lot. Griezmann played a whopping 58 games in all competitions for Atletico Madrid this season, bagging 33 goals in the process. That’s an impressive record and providing he remains fit he will surely be a feature in the outcome of the Top Goalscorer market.
Harry Kane (16/1 with Ladbrokes) – Roy Hodgson has a number of tough calls to make in terms of his starting XI for the tournament but the England manager at least knows who is main striker is. Harry Kane was the top goalscorer in the Premier League this season and having taken to international football quickly he’ll be a threat as long as England remain in the tournament.
Robert Lewandowski (16/1 with Bet365) – With all due respect to the Polish national side, if Robert Lewandowski was playing for a more fancied team Euro 2016 he would be even higher up the bookies’ outright market. He became a household name with Borussia Dortmund and has had no trouble living up to expectations since his move to Bayern Munich. Lewandowski can score any type of goal and is Poland’s main hope this summer.
Olivier Giroud (20/1 with Betfair) – Many of those who have watched Olivier Giroud this season will raise their eyebrows at his price of 20/1. The Arsenal frontman endured a pretty poor second half of the season but he still managed 26 goals in all competitions and he remains a real favourite with Didier Deschamps. He is likely to start up front for France and will get on the end of his fair share of chances so he should be taken seriously.
Romelu Lukaku (20/1 with Coral) – Romelu Lukaku is yet another Premier League forward who will be well supported in the betting. Lukaku is the epitome of a modern striker – quick, powerful and technically gifted. He is sure to play for Belgium who are many people’s pick to win the tournament outright so 20/1 could look a big price come July.
Alvaro Morata (25/1 with Unibet) – After working his way through the ranks at Real Madrid, Alvaro Morata was told that he was no longer required by the club who sold him to Juventus. That decision came back to haunt the Spanish side when Morata scored against them in last season’s Champions League. Morata is a highly skilled striker who can handle pressure, a good combination for a top goalscorer bet.
Anthony Martial (30/1 with Unibet) – Louis van Gaal paid the price for an underwhelming Manchester United season but amongst all the accusations of boring football Anthony Martial stood out, immune from criticism. If the 20-year-old can take to a top level international tournament as well as he took to the Premier League he’ll score his fair share of goals at Euro 2016.
Marco Reus (33/1 with Sportingbet) – Marco Reus is a dream for an international manager. Joachim Löw has selected Reus as much for his ability as his versatility as the Dortmund star can play up front, on the wing and across the midfield. He’ll hope that his ability to play in different positions does not make him seem a great option from the bench because if he starts, he can certainly score goals.
Zlatan Ibrahimović (33/1 with Bet365) – This could well be the final time that we see Zlatan Ibrahimović at an international tournament. Zlatan will believe there is plenty of fight left in him but he’s 34 now and his years at the top of the game are numbered. He’s a proud Swede and will want to do all he can to take his team forwards but he’s also got personal reasons to score plenty of goals at the Euros as he’s not currently got a club.
As you can see from the above list, it’s going to be tough to pick the winner of the Top Goalscorer market. But from the top 10 contenders both Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku really stand out.
Ronaldo is desperate to add some international glory to a career which is already pretty glorious. Portugal have a good squad for Euro 2016 and Ronaldo could conceivably score enough goals in the group stage against Austria, Hungary and Iceland to win the Golden Boot.
As for Lukaku, he had a disappointing end to his domestic season but things were not good at Everton and he made noises about wanting to play in the Champions League. He’ll have to hope that Belgium live up to the hype but this is his chance to really put himself in the shop window.
The favourites are going to take some stopping but there are a couple of outsiders worth taking a look at.
Eden Hazard found his goalscoring touch towards the end of the Premier League and it’s fair to say that he didn’t exactly overexert himself during Chelsea’s campaign. He will start for Belgium and he looks too long at 50/1 with Stan James.
England have some very talented young players with Dele Alli one of the most exciting midfielders the country have had in ages. He scored regularly for Spurs and will play in an advanced position for England so is surely worth a punt at 100/1 with William Hill.
If Ireland have a good tournament it is almost certainly going to coincide with Shane Long playing well. The Southampton striker ended the season in lethal fashion and stands out at 200/1 with William Hill.