World Cup Brazil 2014 – Golden Boot Betting Preview

Lionel Messi – 8/1

messi-argentinaAt 26 years of age going into the 2014 World Cup, this could well be the tournament of Lionel Messi’s career. Argentina should have little problem brushing past Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria in Group F and there’s potential for the Argentinean attack to run riot in these early games.

In fact, Messi’s main rivals for the golden boot accolade could be his own teammates. Sergio Aguero 12/1, Gonzalo Higuaín 20/1 and Ezequiel Lavezzi 100/1 are all proven goalscorers, but coach Alejandro Sabella is set to build his side around Messi.

Despite a slightly less prolific season in front of goal for club side Barcelona, ‘La Pulga’ still managed 41 goals in 46 appearances during the 13/14 season – now is the time for Messi to reproduce those statistics at a major tournament.

Neymar – 10/1

22NeymarDespite not setting the world alight during his first season at Barcelona, Neymar has a proven appetite for tournament football. The 22-year-old Brazilian scored two goals at Copa America 2011, three at the Olympics and four at the Confederations Cup. The way he has improved with each competition, firing only one blank throughout the Confederations Cup, is equally encouraging.

The host nation are 6/4 favourites to reach the final, and when considering 10 of the 13 most recent winners/joint winners of the Golden Boot reached the semi finals or played for the hosts, Neymar’s price is only likely to get shorter the closer we get to the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 16/1

cristiano_ronaldoAfter leading Real Madrid to Champions League glory and breaking a number of scoring records along the way, CR7 is at the peak of his powers.

However, It’s been a long and testing season for the Portugal captain; he’s has played nearly 65 hours of football for his club alone, meaning fatigue could play a part this summer.

On top of that, he almost single-handedly dragged his country through the World Cup play-offs, scoring all four of their goals against Sweden, and as a result the best player on the planet succumbed to a hamstring injury in the closing weeks of the domestic season.

Ronaldo will certainly score goals in Brazil, but his tally may be hampered by how far an otherwise fairly average Portugal side can go in the competition.

Diego Costa – 25/1 

Diego CostaIn a similar vein to Ronaldo, it’s been a long and glorious season for Spain frontman Diego Costa.

After spearheading Atletico Madrid’s attack on their way to winning a dramatic La Liga title, scoring 27 goals in the process, the Brazilian-born forward has forced his way in to contention for Spain’s starting XI.

However, Costa suffered from a succession of hamstring problems towards the end of the domestic season, which led to him limping out of the Champions League Final after only 9 minutes.

Equally, Spain have favoured playing with a false-nine in recent tournaments thanks to their wealth of midfield talent, meaning Costa’s place in La Roja’s starting XI – and therefore his chance of winning the Golden Boot – are slim.

Best of the rest

Romelu Lukaku 30/1 is set to spearhead a hugely talented Belgian side and has already scored 4 goals in Belgium’s three warm up games.

Germany’s Thomas Muller 35/1 claimed the Golden Boot in 2010 with 5 goals and 3 assists, and he’s likely to be the German’s biggest goal threat once again this summer.

Luis Suarez 25/1 has survived an injury scare to feature for Uruguay, but his chances may be hindered by how far his national side can progress.

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