Kane, Aguero and Vardy: Only one can come out on top
Premier League Final Day, Sunday 3.00pm
It’s been 15 years since there was an English winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot, but there are two darts heading for the target on Saturday. Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Premier League champion Jamie Vardy are both in with a shout at stopping Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero who is within touching distance of retaining his title.
Just one goal separates all three men, with just a single game remaining, and Tottenham, Leicester and City all face away trips on the final day of the season. Kane has the slimmest of advantages with 25 goals, however he has the worst conversion rate of the three and averages more minute in between goals. Jamie Vardy sits on 24 goals – and could have gone into the final day joint leader had he not sent his penalty to Mars at home to Everton last week. The Leicester striker has five goals in his last three league games and is the most clinical of the three with a 22 per cent conversion rate. Sergio Aguero became the first Manchester City player to score in six consecutive games when he bagged the opener against Arsenal on Sunday, and he has the best goal-to-minutes ratio of the three contenders, finding the onion bag on average every 95 minutes.
Going into the weekend’s games and Harry Kane is odds on at to be the Golden Boot winner. He’s in pole position, and it will take a brace from either Vardy (a shot) or Aguero (a punt) to topple Kane if the Tottenham man draws a blank. It’s worth noting at this point that if two players finish level the award is shared and dead heat rules apply.
But it’s worth looking at the opposition each man faces before having a dabble.
Looking at the stats, it may surprise you to see that Sergio Aguero arguably has the toughest task, facing a Swansea side at the Liberty Stadium. Francesco Guidolin’s men have conceded just 19 goals at home this season – ranking sixth in the league for their home defence. Although they’ve conceded 211 shots at home, they rank in the top four for shots on target conceded, limiting their opponents to very few clear cut chances.
If Aguero is to retain his crown, he’s going to have to do it the hard way.
Harry Kane faces an ominous task of heading to St James’ Park to face relegated Newcastle. The Magpies have kept three clean sheets in their last five matches and rank 11th in the top flight for goals conceded at home (23). It’s hardy a ringing endorsement of their backline, but Newcastle are far from the worst Premier League side when it comes to preventing goals.
Throw in the fact that they are the only side of the three with something to play for, and Tottenham’s wind has been well and truly taken from their sails following their title challenging imploding against West Brom, and suddenly Kane’s best bet of winning the Golden Boot is hoping others will slip up.
The man who potentially looks the best bet could be Jamie Vardy. Although Chelsea away may be considered the worst clash on paper, the stats suggest it is in fact the easiest. they’ve conceded 29 goals at Stamford Bridge this season – only three top flight sides have conceded more goals at home – while they’ve let their opponents post 89 shots on target at Stamford Bridge.
Vardy may have put his hat-trick penalty into orbit against Everton, but Leicester are seeing out their league success in style. Chelsea have managed to ship seven goals in their last three home games in the league and allowed Sunderland to fire another three past them last week. The banger of sh*t-chatters has his eyes set on a starting place in England’s Euro 2016 team, and finishing level, or even above Harry Kane in the goal scoring chats would add plenty of ammunition to his argument.
Vardy is playing with plenty of confidence, and the man who led Leicester to the most unlikely of Premier League victories could upset the odds again on Saturday.