Euro 2012: Golden Boot shoot-out
With Euro 2012 just over three weeks away here is Mr Sportsbook’s take on the leading contenders for the Golden Boot award. David Villa won in 2008, but the Barcelona man may miss out altogether through injury this year, while in 2004 Milan Baros surprised Villa fans after winning the Golden Boot.
Below are the latest odds for the top-scorer at Euro 2012:
Mario Gomez is the first priced player, despite his more senior compatriot, Miroslav Klose leading the way in qualification; with nine goals compared to the Bayern mans six. Klose at 12/1 looks the more valuable bet as he is likely to be the striker that Joachim Low goes for as his first choice at the tournament.
Despite being in danger of not even making Del Bosque’s 23 man squad, David Villa is still at 12/1 to be top-scorer. Although he has been crucial to Spain’s triumphs at the 2008 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup, he is not going to be close to full fitness and will struggle if he is picked. He may look tempting at 12/1, but I would stay clear for now.
Similar to Germany, Huntelaar offers better value than Van Persie, and he also scored more goals then the Arsenal captain, but it is unlikely that both players will fit in the Netherlands well established 4-3-3 formation – with Van Persie getting the nod.
Naming England’s four strikers is looking a difficult task, yet alone predicting the player who may scoop the Golden Boot. Daren Bent and Wayne Rooney, if selected, will miss the first couple of games and their high odds reflect this; with Bent, Rooney both at 33/1.
Benzema at 16/1 for France looks a very good price to me. France may well be the dark horse at this year’s tournament, especially after the mess of 2010, and Benzema has also had an excellent season for Madrid, keeping Higuain out of the side.
Cassano and Balotelli for Italy are not overly enticing; with Balotelli unlikely to start many of the high-pressure games and Cassano only just returning from a heart scare. If Italy do go far at the Euro’s the man to back may be Antonio Di Natale at 25/1. He may be a bit of a veteran, but the 34-year-old was the top scoring Italian in Serie A and helped fire Udinese to a superb third place this season.
Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski of Sweden and Poland will be the key strikers for their countries and are a good price at 40/1. If their respective countries progress from their groups these players could soon turn into a smart bet.
Looking outside the top contenders there are some big names with equally big odds. 2004 Golden Boot winner, Milan Baros, is ready to back at 80/1, with Theo Walcott also priced at 80/1. The ‘noughties’ legend Andriy Shevchenko is priced at 66/1 to lead the line for Ukraine and Nicklas Bendtner is at 80/1 to help fire Denmark to a second European Championship.