We’ve covered the various permutations in the outright market and the individual groups too, and so now our look at the best betting tips for Euro 2016 moves on to the Top Goalscorer bracket.
There are numerous options here – in all shapes and sizes – but a look at former European Championship Golden Boot winners reveals a few trends to look out for:
It kind of goes without saying, but the more matches your chosen player is involved in then the greater opportunities they have to score. And that theory is lent weight by the pattern in recent years. Here’s a list of the most recent top goalscorers in European Championships:
- 2000 – Patrick Kluivert (Holland)
- 2004 – Milan Baros (Czech Republic)
- 2008 – David Villa (Spain)
- 2012 – Fernando Torres (Spain) – he did tie with several other players
We can see that each of those was blessed with a good run in the tournament. Both Holland and the Czech Republic reached the semi-finals during the ‘Kluivert and Baros years’, while Spain famously won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2012.
So by that reckoning, and by predicting how the draw is going to pan out, we will be looking to find our Golden Boot winner from one of France, Germany, Spain and England, who in our opinion will be the last four at Euro 2016.
This trend will be of no surprise to you, but every single European Championship top goalscorer dating back to Michel Platini in 1984 has been a striker.
So alongside Kluivert, Baros, Villa and Torres we have Alan Shearer (1996), a four-way tie between four frontmen in 1992 (Tomas Brolin, Dennis Bergkamp, Henrik Larsen and Karl-Heinz Riedle) and finally Marco van Basten in 1988.
With this pedigree, we have to assume our predicted ‘final four’s’ preferred striking options – Thomas Muller, Mario Gomez, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Alvaro Morata, Nolito – will be the most likely candidates once again.
Given his proclivity for scoring goals – particularly in big tournaments, Germany’s Thomas Muller ticks all of the boxes. He will surely start up front (unless Joachim Low opts for Mario Gomez; unlikely but a possibility nonetheless), and Germany look set for a semi-final spot at the very least (they are likely to run into France there). Muller bagged nine in ten in qualifying, five goals in each of the last two World Cups and 32 in 48 for Bayern Munich in 2015/16. Here’s a player who seems to net at will, and his price of 9/1 in this market looks fantastic value.
These last few friendlies prior to the start of the tournament are an interesting watch for punters as we can see team selections take shape. Germany, for example, were humbled by Slovakia 1-3 just the other day. Mario Gomez did bag the Germans’ consolation that day from the penalty spot, but he was subbed off at half time. He did resurface for their subsequent 2-0 win over Hungary as a second half substitute, so he may yet be given a starting berth by Low. Nevertheless, the 28/1 available is too much of a gamble on a player who isn’t a guaranteed starter by any means.
France didn’t have to qualify for Euro 2016 of course due to their position as hosts, but we do know that Didier Deschamps prefers to play a big man up front. That clearly opens the door for Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud to claim a starting berth for his country. He bagged a brace in the 3-0 win over Scotland on Saturday and another one in the 3-2 triumph over Cameroon last week, so is clearly in pole position to slip into the number nine shirt. He isn’t the most prolific striker on the planet of course, and a return of 17 goals in 49 appearances for Les Bleus is hardly earth-shattering. We’re happy enough to avoid him at the 16/1 quoted.
Giroud’s probable inclusion as a central striker means that Antoine Griezmann will likely start on either the right or left flank. That is no impediment to this classy operator, although it must be noted that 19 of his 29 goals for Atletico Madrid in 2015/16 came as a striker. It could be that Giroud’s inclusion will ultimately count Griezmann out of the running for the Golden Boot, although we wouldn’t discourage you from supporting the 11/1 offered.
As far as the rest are concerned, we’re not convinced that Jamie Vardy will start for England – certainly not as a central striker, anyway – so we’re happy to give him a swerve. Harry Kane is a viable option, although 16/1 for a player whose side *may not* reach the last four (we may be guilty of patriotic bias with that tip!) does not represent value.
Finally we have the Spanish trio of Nolito, Morata and Aduriz. We have no clue who will start up front for the Spanish, although surely Nolito is the favourite given that he has notched four goals in their last two friendlies. Available at 35/1, he’s a brave pick given that he isn’t a guaranteed starter, but given that Spain will occupy the easier half of the draw (as long as they win their group), there’s logic behind the decision.