Champions League: Top goalscorer selections for the 2019/20 season

Our best bets for the Champions League top goalscorer market
Our best bets for the Champions League top goalscorer market

The Champions League begins tonight and with it the battle for the Golden Boot. Tom Carnduff has selections at 50/1 and 80/1.


Recommended bets

1pt e.w. Duvan Zapata to finish as top goalscorer at 80/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)

1pt e.w. Paco Alcacer to finish as top goalscorer at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


The Champions League returns this week with clubs across Europe battling to be crowned kings of the continent.

While there's competition among teams, there is also a battle between the top strikers in world football to pick up the accolade of being the top goalscorer.

History has shown us that double figures is a must. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have led the way as expected, with the former earning the award with 12 goals last season.

It can be a high tally though. Ronaldo hit 15 goals the campaign prior, while the Portugal captain also had 17 during the 2013/14 edition.

Unsurprisingly, the duo dominate favouritism in the market and both can be found at 9/2, while Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is behind at 9/1.

The value is elsewhere though, and there is a case for two bigger-priced selections - particularly with top-four each-way terms available.

Paco Alcacer leads the line for Dortmund
Paco Alcacer leads the line for Dortmund

The first of which is the 'shorter' of the two with Borussia Dortmund's Paco Alcacer establishing himself as a key striker in the Bundesliga since his move from Barcelona in August 2018.

The 26-year-old spent the season on-loan before the move became permanent this summer. It's a transfer that has seemingly worked out for all sides. Alcacer wasn't going to be used at Barca, despite his goals, and Dortmund have acquired a much-needed prolific forward.

That debut campaign in the famous yellow and black shirt was a productive one. 19 goals in all competitions came despite injuries hindering an extended run in the starting line-up.

It wasn't just injuries though. There were the slight tactical tweaks that saw Mario Gotze utilised as a false nine, allowing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro to contribute in the goal-scoring department.

Dortmund are a better team with a fit Alcacer up front. Their best XI would also see a Thorgan Hazard/Marco Reus/Sancho attacking midfield trio; one that will be the envy of most teams in this competition.

It doesn't have to be those three though. The options from the bench provide serious competition with Julian Brandt and Jacob Bruun Larsen all in contention for starting spots.

Alcacer has the striker role nailed down. The creativity and attacking threat behind him enables him to boast such a good record and you'd expect him to be one of the top goalscorers in Europe's top-five domestic leagues.

There's also the added bonus of strong form at the beginning of the current campaign. The striker has scored in all six games played so far, seven to be exact, and has played the full 90 minutes in all-but-one fixture.

That fixture was against Bayer Leverkusen last time out, a decision to remove him late on with one eye on keeping him as fresh as possible for the visit of Barcelona on matchday one.

A huge potential is there for double figures for Dortmund in Europe this season, particularly with a real chance of reaching at least the last-eight stage of the Champions League.

Duvan Zapata (left) and Marten De Roon celebrate Atalanta's winner
Duvan Zapata (left) and Marten De Roon celebrate Atalanta's winner

Elsewhere, I'm prepared to back an outright selection from the Copa America to shine on Europe's biggest page.

Duvan Zapata netted two goals during this summer's tournament. An impressive return considering Colombia's reluctance to play him despite clearly being their most in-form striker.

He's plying his trade with Atalanta in Serie A. The Italian club enjoyed the best domestic season in their history to qualify for the Champions League; a third-place finish in the league combined with defeat in the final of the Coppa Italia.

The 2018/19 campaign saw Zupata post a huge tally of 28 goals in all competitions. Two of those came in Europa League qualifying, while 23 were in the league.

An incredible season has carried over across the summer. The 28-year-old has scored three goals in his last two Serie A games and will be fit and raring to go when their Champions League adventure gets underway at Dinamo Zagreb.

Of course, the tally of a striker depends on the progression of their team. Atalanta are placed in the open Group C - although Manchester City are expected to finish as runaway leaders.

They are equipped to finish as runners-up ahead of Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk though - at least two more games on top of the six they will play in the group stage.

Given the calibre of opposition, Zapata has every chance of finishing as the top scorer by the end of the group stage. Combine that with City's recent defensive problems and we shouldn't be surprised to see him net at the Etihad either.

Eight goals got you the second spot in last season's Golden Boot race - meaning the each-way value is certainly worth taking on Zapata in this market.


Odds correct at 1245 BST (17/09/19)

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