With six games of the season gone the league table is beginning to look decidedly disappointing for fans of Man United and very exciting for Everton and Saints supporters.
Aside from the race for the Premier League title itself, one of the other interesting season-long battles is that for the Golden Boot – the award given to the league’s top scorer – and that too is starting to take shape, again with the usual suspects beginning to stamp their mark on things.
The favourite remains the man who has won the award for the past two years: Man United’s Robin van Persie. The Dutch Master – rarely can I resist calling him that – is priced at odds of 7/2 with Ladbrokes and currently has three league goals to his name. He won the award last season with 26 goals and the season before that with 30 and it is perhaps telling that in both those campaigns he featured in all 38 of his side’s matches.
Strikers at other clubs are likely to be affected by rotation but not RVP, and his injuries, which blighted his early career, seem to be a thing of the past too. The second favourite, despite missing the first five games of the season is Liverpool’s Luis Suarez at 7/1 with bet365 and others. It seems that Brendan Rodgers will play both him and Daniel Sturridge together and Liverpool’s SAS partnership is sure to trouble most teams. Sturridge has three goals more than his partner’s two and can be backed at 10/1 with Sky Bet.
Another forward who should feature in most games is Romelu Lukaku and the Belgian could fire Everton to success if he maintains his fine early form. He has three goals from his opening two matches and is 16/1 with Ladbrokes and William Hill.
Players such as Sergio Aguero, Roberto Soldado, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko may be regular victims of rotation policies of questionable merit and so are not worth considering, although Wayne Rooney may have a chance each way at 20/1 with Sky Bet. Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud is sure to benefit from Mesut Ozil’s supply but ultimately the class and consistency of RVP make him the man to beat and that’s where our money is going (before he bangs in a hat-trick and his odds are slashed!).