Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 World Cup Top Goal Scorer Betting Prediction

Aside from the outright winner, one of the most fun things to debate, speculate, and gamble on in a World Cup is who will win the coveted Golden Boot, awarded to the top goal scorer in the competition.

Here we discuss some of the players in the running and take a look at what might work for and against them.

1 – David Villa – Spain (8-1)

With Spain the current favourites to win the tournament outright and David Villa’s excellent goal scoring record for both clubs and his national side, it is no surprise that he leads the pack in terms of the prices on offer to bet on the Golden Boot.

Despite it being logical that the longer a player’s team stays in the cup the better chance they have of scoring the most goals, the theory behind predicting this is actually a lot more complex.

The highest scoring games in the majority of major tournaments come during the group stages, before the weaker teams are sent home. In later stages, as teams become more evenly matched, low scoring games and matches settled on penalties (which don’t count towards the Golden Boot) become more common. For this reason, strong players like Villa in strong teams like Spain have a much better chance if their group stage opponents are “easy” teams they can beat with a high scoreline.

With Spain facing Honduras, Chile and Switzerland, their group does, with no disrespect to their opponents, look much easier than that which other strong sides were drawn in (Brazil’s group looks very tough by comparison with the Ivory Coast and Portugal).

What may work against Villa is the fact that one of the other favourites, his strike partner Fernando Torres, is on the same team. With only so many goals likely to happen in the tournament, whether either of them will lay claim to enough of them to win the Golden Boot remains to be seen.

2 – Lionel Messi – Argentina (9-1)

With some bookmakers offering him as joint favourite with Villa, again, there is nothing surprising about the short odds on the Argentina and Barcelona star. Many consider Messi to be the greatest current footballer in the world.

The Argentina squad are generally thought to be less strong going into the competition than Spain, with odds of 8-1 compared with Spain’s 4-1 at the time of writing, however they are still a fairly safe bet to progress far enough to give Messi a chance to notch up some goals. Like Spain, their first round opponents are not, on paper at least, likely to be too troublesome for the Argentine team – they faceNigeria, South Korea and Greece.

3 – Wayne Rooney – England (10-1)

These odds are from the UK betting market, where there is likely to be a slight bias towards England and England players in the odds, given that a lot of people in the UK will want to take these bets.

Even so, Wayne Rooney has a brilliant goal scoring record and when fit can give Villa and Messi a run for their money. As England’s top striker, Wayne may never quite have lived up to the “new Pele” talk around him when he shot to notoriety during the Euro 2004 tournament, but his skills are a force to be reckoned with and he should have no problem putting goals past fellow Group C competitors the USA, Sloveniaand Algeria.

4 – Luis Fabiano – Brazil (12-1)

With ultimate football heavyweights Brazil second favourites to win the Jules Rimet trophy outright with bookies almost unanimously offering 5-1 odds, Luis Fabiano is another man in with a very serious chance of securing the Golden Boot.

The Sevilla striker has scored 25 goals in 36 appearances for Brazil since 2003, and has had some amazing club seasons too, the peak being the 07-08 La Liga season when he scored an incredible 34 for Sevilla in 44 games across all competitions.

The one thing counting against Fabiano here is the comparative strength of the opponents in Brazil’s group. Whilst they can still be expected to progress to the next stage, defeating the Ivory Coast and Portugal by a number of goals will be no mean feat.

5 – Fernando Torres – Spain (12-1)

Liverpool’s golden boy is the second appearance by a Spanish player in the top five. Torres plays very well alongside Villa for the national side, and is a consistent, reliable scorer. Often scoring enviably inspired goals, Torres can almost certainly be relied on to supply some of the most entertaining goals of the competition, but can he also deliver the most?

With an injury keeping him out for the rest of the season, though he is expected to be fit to play in the2010 World Cup, Torres will be missing out on a lot of the preparation he was probably hoping for. Also, with Liverpool’s disappointing season, where it seems that they have lost their place as part of the renowned Premiership “Big Four”, it is possible that odds on Torres will drift as those favouring Spain opt to back Villa instead.

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