Premier League Golden Boot Race Heats Up

By Martin Green23 March 2021
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Liverpool's Salah and Coach Jurgen Klopp

The race to win the Premier League Golden Boot looks wide open as we approach the business end of the season. These are the leading contenders to finish the campaign as the top scorer:

Harry Kane

The England captain has banged in 17 goals in 27 games so far this season, and he is the joint top scorer in the Premier League. He has also provided 13 assists in a magnificent individual campaign, despite playing in a struggling Tottenham team. Kane is currently the 6/4 (2.50) favourite with Bet365 and William Hill to win the Golden Boot, and that looks like a great bet if he can remain fit.

He won back-to-back Golden Boots in 2016 and 2017, but he has been unable to add to his collection since then. Kane scored 30 goals in the 2017-18 campaign, but finished two behind a rampant Mohamed Salah, and injuries have derailed his chances of securing individual glory in the past two seasons.

Yet he is now playing in an uncharacteristically attack-minded Spurs team, and he has more than enough quality to finish as the season’s top scorer if he can avoid injury in the weeks ahead.

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool’s Egyptian superstar set a new record for a 38-game season when he scored 32 goals in the 2017-18 campaign. He then shared the Golden Boot with teammate Sadio Mané and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the following term, and finished just one goal behind winner Jamie Vardy last season.

He is currently level with Kane in the race for the Golden Boot, with an identical minutes per goals ratio. His goal conversion and shot accuracy rates are actually better than Kane’s, and he has been Liverpool’s main goal threat this season.

It has been a torrid campaign for the defending champions, who are currently languishing in seventh place. However, they are just five points off a top four spot, and Jurgen Klopp will demand a strong finish to the season. They are terrible at the back following a number of injuries, but they still have the quality to blow teams away in attack.

Much depends on the form of Roberto Firmino, as he plays a vital role in creating space and teeing up chances for Salah and Mané. If he clicks into gear, the 2/1 (3.00) available on Salah at Unibet could prove appealing, but the Egyptian forward has drawn a blank in his last five league matches, which does not inspire much confidence.

Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese playmaker has been at the heart of Man Utd’s renaissance since signing from Sporting Lisbon last January. He has scored 16 goals and provided 10 assists this season, cementing his status as one of the Premier League’s most devastating attacking forces.

He takes penalties for the Red Devils, and they earn a lot of penalties, so that could make him an appealing choice in the Golden Boot race. However, he has only scored once in his last eight games, and Man Utd slump to too many 0-0 and 1-1 draws, so he may find it difficult to overhaul Kane in the remaining weeks of the season.

By contrast, Kane has six goals in his last eight games, and he also takes penalties, so the Spurs striker looks more likely to finish top of the pile. Fernandes is priced at 13/2 (7.50) with Betfred to win the Golden Boot, and you can get a third of the odds if he finishes second when you go each-way. That might appeal to some punters, but the bookies are expecting a two-horse race between Kane and Salah, and Kane looks like the one to back.

The Rest

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is next in the betting at 25/1 with Bet365, followed by Vardy and Patrick Bamford, who are both out at 40/1. Calvert-Lewin has 14 Premier League goals this season, but just one in his last five games. If you go a little further back, he has three league goals in his last 14 matches, so he has gone off the boil after a very strong start to the campaign.

Calvert-Lewin and Bamford are both on 14 goals, but it is hard to see either man catching Kane if the England captain stays fit. Bamford misses a lot of chances, but he has been prolific for Leeds this season. On the flipside, they often lose games and their recent form has been poor, so you would expect Kane and Salah to enjoy more chances than Bamford in the remaining weeks of the 2020-21 season.

Son Heung-Min is also out injured, and he has faded after a dazzling start to the campaign. Vardy is on 12 goals, and he has been uncharacteristically profligate in recent weeks. The likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Ilkay Gundogan are too far back to join the race, and they are often on the bench due to squad rotation, so it looks like remaining a straight fight between Kane and Salah, and Kane looks like the better option right now.