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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Premier League - Top Goalscorer

We've researched the past six seasons to bring you the very best statistics and likely condenders for the 2011/12 Premier League top scorer. The following statistics are based on the top four scorers since the 2005/6 season (please note that in 2006/7 two players shared 4th place therefore in total the statistics relate to 25 players).

The minimum games a player played in and still featured in the top four was 25 (Robin Van Persie during 2010/11). The average games played by the sharp-shooters was 33.4, with this in mind we will try to steer clear from those players that are injury prone, likely to be rotated or involved in the African Cup of Nations.

The division's top scorer has come from a team that's finished in the top four and since 2002/3 95% of the top four scorers came from sides in the top 13 with 72% of the players coming from clubs that finished in the top 6. The past three season's winners of the award have been thirty-something (Berbatov, Drogba and Anelka) although the average age of the 25 players was 26, although we don't read too much into this stat we do think that age is linked to fitness and a direct correlation between age and amount of injuries/games played in. Therefore those players in their mid-twenties are likely to be less prone to injury than younger or older professionals, allowing more opportunity to find the back of the net. Realistically we're looking for a player that'll play the vast majority of games whose club will finish in the higher echelons of the Premier League.

We like the look of Darren Bent, The Aston Villa forward is best priced 12/1 to outscore his counterparts. He has finished in the top four scorers in the last two seasons and his overall record in the Premier League speaks for itself, in recent times he scored 32 in 58 games for Sunderland and has a goal every other game for his current employers Villa (9 in 18). There are some doubts as to the service Bent will receive this season following the summer departures of widemen Ashley Young and Stewart Downing. We don't think this will impinge too much on Bent's ability to find the back of the net. The inclusion of Charles N'Zogbia from Wigan will soften the blow and the duo's departure will ensure Bent will take penalty kicks. The lack of competition should mean that Bent plays a very high percentage of the Villians league matches.

Bent's likely opponents for the Golden Boot accolade include Robin Van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres.

Doubts over Van Persie's ability to remain fit for a season mean we can't be back the Dutch forward at a best price of 10/1 with any real confidence. Hernandez will be under more pressure to produce the goods when he features this season with Man United gunning for silverware on all fronts. The Mexican is as little as 7/1 to be the divisions top scorer and we think represents poor value especially as wily manager Sir Alex Ferguson could utilise Rooney in a lone striker role. We think that backing Rooney top scorer with Man United winning the league at 18/1 could pay dividends. If United are to be successful in 11/12 we think Rooney will have to chip in with more goals, we can't see Berbatov or Hernandez replicating their hauls from 10/11. Rooney will have plenty of attacking support through Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young, he's likely to play the majority of games and will also be on penalty duty for the Old Trafford outfit.

Since joining Chelsea Torres hasn't anywhere near justified his £50 million transfer fee. Poor form and fitness meant 'El Nino' had his worst season in English football last term. Chelsea's new boss Andreas Villas Boas may not be as persistent with Torres if his performances aren't satisfactory, although a certain Russian billionaire might have an opposing opinion on the matter. Like Van Persie, doubts also surround Torres' long term fitness.

Manchester City have recruited Athletico Madrid's Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, capturing the forward for a reported £35 million. Aguero arrives at Eastlands with a huge reputation, many thought he would be a straight replacement for wantaway countryman Carlos Tevez although he still remains at the Manchester club. We're not sure how quickly Aguero will adapt to the Premiership, when he'll be fully fit and how boss Mancini will rotate his squad with the prospect of a lengthy spell in Europe likely. These are some of the reasons we won't be backing 'Kun' Aguero at a best price of 16/1. It's worth noting that no foreign player has top scored in their first season in England's top flight.

Contributor Chris Powell makes the Racing Posts Big Kick Off 11/12 with his 12/1 Darren Bent selection

Bent is an attractive 9/2 to finish as the top English scorer which also looks a decent price. While Daniel Sturridge remains at Chelsea we don't think he's a serious contender. Cases can be made for Andy Carroll and and Tottenham's Jermain Defoe although we think Tooting born Bent will outscore each of these. In the past four seasons Bent has scored 21 more than ex-team mate Defoe and 20 more than Andy Carroll (with one of Carroll's season's in the Championship). Seemingly Bent's main rival for the crown is Wayne Rooney, we are predicting very good seasons for both the England frontmen.

Darren Bent to finish top scorer at 12/1 (various)
Darren Bent to finish top English scorer at 9/2 (Paddy Power)
Wayne Rooney top scorer with Man United winning the league at 18/1 (various)

El Jugador and John Nash

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