Last season’s Golden Boot was shared three-ways between Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mané, who all finished on 22 goals.
All three were very impressive, especially Mané, who notched 22 goals without scoring a single penalty.
Sergio Agüero was just one goal back after yet another fruitful campaign playing for the league champions, while Jamie Vardy was the best of the rest, scoring 18 times.
Raheem Sterling again got to double figures for both goals (17) and assists (10), while Harry Kane’s injury-hit season yielded just 17 goals also. Of the three players that shared the Golden Boot, it was Aubameyang that had the highest xG per 90, which is a good measure of the quality of chances a player gets from game to game. The Gabonese forward averaged an impressive 0.69 xG/90.
If he maintains this level of getting on the end of quality chances – he will go very close to reclaiming the currently-shared title. Although Arsenal are rubbish in defence, they aren’t bad going forward, so the odds are he can likely get a similar amount of goals this season.
Salah and Mané also play in one of the best-attacking teams in the country in Liverpool – so will get plenty of scoring opportunities. However, question marks surround their fitness after a gruelling few years in which they have played constantly in back-to-back the Premier Leagues, a World Cup and this summer’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Another long summer for both of Liverpool’s talismans could take its toll, and they may need some time to get back to full speed, so others are preferred on that basis.
The same principle applies for Sergio Agüero, who led Argentina’s line in this summer’s Copa América. He is now 31 and may need to reduce his game-time for a quadruple-chasing City.
Pep Guardiola will have to phase the Argentine out of Manchester City’s starting XI at some stage. He could start that process this season with Gabriel Jesus expected to be the beneficiary in 19/20.
Jesus was used sparingly in the Copa América by Brazil, but when he did play, he performed well.
His underlying numbers last season were the best in the league, averaging 0.85 xG/90 in a very attack-minded City side, so he could be an interesting each-way runner at 25/1 with Paddy Power who are paying the first four places.
Jamie Vardy also looks interesting at 16/1, as he averaged 0.55 xG/90 last season for Leicester, and played most of the season in a team that didn’t play to his strengths under Claude Puel.
Under Brendan Rodgers, Leicester will likely play much quicker and be much more attack-minded, so Vardy could get more chances than last season. At 16/1 he will be in the frame.
Harry Kane heads the market at 4/1, but Spurs need to improve their attacking prowess if he is to get more than 20 goals this season, and more importantly, he needs to stay fit.
Gabriel Jesus is worth chancing @ 25/1, with the main bet being on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to replicate same high-level of finishing he showcased last season.
* All odds correct at time of posting.