Who will be crowned the top scorer in this season's Champions League? That's the question Lee Phelps is pondering. He has looked at 5 of the best players & their odds to come up with his free pick.
There are six matches left until one team lifts the 2015 Champions League trophy in Berlin, so six more chances for players to seal the Golden Boot prize.
In my mind the two front runners in the betting are there for a reason. Lionel Messi (8) is 2.25 (5/4) and Cristiano Ronaldo is 3.5 (5/2). There are of course others in the running and I’ll go through the best of the rest but Messi and Ronaldo have won the award for the last seven years, with the Portuguese front man winning it back-to-back for the last two seasons and his Argentinian rival the previous four!
The best of the rest
I’ve selected Luiz Adriano, Sergio Aguero and Edison Cavani as my three with chances. The Shakhtar Donetsk striker is only in there, because he leads the table with nine goals, but he’s 6.0 (5/1) for a reason and that reason is an away game at Bayern Munich! They held the German champions to a goalless draw at home and it would be one of the greatest shocks in Champions League history if they dumped Bayern out at this stage. Therefore it’s likely his nine will be the clubhouse lead.
Edison Cavani has scored six goals for PSG so far in the competition and is priced at 41.0 (40/1) to finish as top scorer. That soccer betting odds price is only big if they get past Chelsea and with the tie level at 1-1 from the Paris leg, there is still obviously a chance of that happening. He’s in the top 10 for shots on goal per match (3.7) and with such attacking quality in their team, will always get chances.
Sergio Aguero is in the same boat at Cavani. A truly gifted striker, who showed in the group game against Bayern that he can win a game on his own, with that brilliant hat-trick. He is also on six goals and his price of 51.0 (50/1) will look huge if Manchester City go to Barcelona and overturn a 2-1 deficit. It’s worth saying that City are 11.0 (10/1) to qualify, but given their performance in Rome when they needed a result to get to the knockout phase, that isn’t impossible.
Of the three if I wanted an outsider, Aguero would be the one I would go for. He has only averaged 2.2 shots per game for his six goals and has played two games less than Cavani, Messi and Ronaldo, illustrating that ruthless streak.
I have previously tipped CR7 up on this market at 4.5 (7/2) thinking he could score two or three versus Schalke, he managed four against them in two legs last season, but so far he only got one goal in the away game. That was enough to shorten him by a point in the betting.
He has scored 74 goals in 116 matches in the Champions League for Real Madrid and Manchester United, that’s a goal ratio of 0.64 and is obviously at the forefront of almost everything Madrid do in the attacking third.
His shots per game stats this season can be argued both ways. Either having an average of nearly SEVEN shots every game means he is wasteful or that he is giving himself more opportunities to score more goals than his rivals. That figure is comfortable higher than anyone else.
The fact they are already through (notwithstanding a miracle from Schalke) you also know Ronaldo will be playing in at least two more games.
Messi has bagged more goals in less UCL games than Ronaldo, scoring 75 in 93 (a ratio of 0.81) so is a better bet on this stat. But with Neymar and Suarez I think it’s likely he will get less chances than CR7 and the stats prove that, with Messi averaging 4.6 shots per game.
They are heavy favourites to qualify past Manchester City, but Barca’s passage through isn’t as assured as Madrid’s, so there is a chance he could only have one more game in the competition. Plus as we saw at the Etihad, his penalty taking and heading skills aren’t as good as everything else he does!
Soccer Pick: I’m still on the Cristiano Ronaldo bandwagon here and if you didn’t back him at the 4.5 (7/2) a few weeks ago, take the 3.5 (5/2) now and add it to your soccer picks. Seldom will you get a chance to back him at that price to be the top scorer in a club competition.