Europe's top forwards will be battling it out for the Golden Boot award at Euro 2020. Goalscorer expert Tom Carnduff's betting preview has five best bets.
2pts e.w. Romelu Lukaku to be top goalscorer at 15/2 (Betway, 1/4 1,2,3,4)
1pt e.w. Antoine Griezmann to be top goalscorer at 25/1 (Bet365, 1/4 1,2,3,4)
1pt e.w. Robert Lewandowski to be top goalscorer at 25/1 (General, 1/4 1,2,3,4)
1pt e.w. Burak Yilmaz to be top goalscorer at 50/1 (BetVictor 1/4 1,2,3,4)
1pt e.w. Ilkay Gundogan to be top goalscorer at 66/1 (Bet365, Betfred, 1/4 1,2,3,4)
While lifting the trophy following the conclusion of the final is the aim of any player involved at Euro 2020, those in attacking positions will always have the Golden Boot in mind. It's arguably the most important individual accolade available at any major tournament.
Europe's best strikers go up against some of the best defences and it's an opportunity to drive their nation to glory. It certainly helps when a team plays the maximum seven games available - although goals in the group can often be enough to put someone in contention.
History tells us that three goals is usually enough to be in contention to win the Golden Boot at a major tournament. It varies, but anything between three and six is the target to finish towards the top.
Looking at recent European Championships, the Golden Boot-winning tallies have been:
Over the past five European Championship finals tournaments, the average Golden Boot winning tally has been 4.6 goals.
The pattern is also largely the same for the World Cup:
Over the past 10 major tournaments involving European nations (Euros and World Cup) the average Golden Boot winning tally has been 5.3 goals.
The slightly higher numbers at World Cups makes sense given it was only in 2016 that the Euros added a round of 16 stage, while the tournament still lacks a third-place play-off. More games, more goals.
The fact it is only 0.7 goals higher on average, though, really does tell you how important goals in the group stage are if you want to win the Golden Boot.
Most bookmakers are offering four each-way places in their top goalscorer markets, meaning there is value on offer for some of those considered outsiders.
England's Harry Kane is the clear favourite, with some going as short as 5/1 on the striker following up his Golden Boot performance in the 2018 World Cup with another individual award this summer. He will be crucial to the Three Lions' hopes of success.
Kane is expected to be rivalled by Belgium's ROMELU LUKAKU.
He starts for his nation and has a remarkable record with the Red Devils, recently becoming their all-time leading goalscorer.
He comes into the tournament on the back of a prolific campaign with Serie A champions Inter so confidence will be high.
Belgium are third-favourites behind England and France in the outright market so are expected to go deep. The draw put them in Group B with Denmark, Finland and Russia so there is every chance Lukaku will score goals in the group stage alone to be in contention.
Belgium hit six past Denmark in their two Nations League games in 2020 - Lukaku scored twice in the second meeting - while Finland have conceded six in their last three competitive fixtures.
The Infogol Expected Goals (xG) model gives Lukaku a 16.6% chance of sole ownership of the Golden Boot, and a 26.4% chance of tying with someone else. They are the highest figures of anyone expected to be involved and Belgium's chances of success help this.
It will be a surprise to see a price of anywhere near 15/2 being available at the end of the group stage.
Belgium face competition for glory from current world champions France, and ANTOINE GRIEZMANN will be hoping to pick up the Golden Boot award for the second consecutive Euros. Even with Karim Benzema's surprise inclusion, the France forward looks a potential value play at around 20/1 across the board.
Despite Barcelona's disappointing season, the striker has managed to net 19 goals across all competitions and has a great record for his country.
His World Cup qualifying campaign has seen two goals in three appearances and while he may have only seen three goals in Euros qualifying, his huge tally of nine assists shows how heavily he was involved in the France scoring.
Only Olivier Giroud scored more than Griezmann among French players during their qualification campaign, but Benzema's call-up will surely limit the amount of time Giroud will get on the pitch.
While Kylian Mbappe is the more fancied forward option in the market, a best price of 10/1 is available on him, Griezmann's track record at major tournaments makes him the value play of the French strikers - both he and Mbappe were among the group tied for second at the 2018 World Cup with four goals each.
The advantage of backing Griezmann is that he has taken penalties in the past and the majority of his goals at the World Cup did come from the spot. Posing a threat from open play while also being an option for penalties is a great combination in this market.
With VAR in play, any selection on spot kick duty will represent decent value and the fact Mbappe missed France's last penalty - that coming in the 2-0 win over Kazakhstan in March - gives hope to Griezmann being on penalty duty again.
A quick mention of the top goalscorer rules here too. 'If there is more than one player with the same goals, the tie breaker goes to the player who has contributed the most assists'. Griezmann's nine assists in qualifying suggests he may be in a good position if he is level with someone else.
While Poland aren't fancied to go far in the tournament, it's always difficult to look past Europe's best striker. ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI has enjoyed a memorable season with Bayern Munich and he should have four games to try and score as many as possible.
His domestic showings led to Gerd Muller's record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season being broken.
He finished the season with 48 goals across 40 games in all competitions for his club - it's clear how much Poland will be relying on him to do the majority of their goalscoring.
Poland line up in Group E alongside Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. The first game could be crucial in Lewandowski's chances of putting himself in contention for the Golden Boot - they take on a Slovakia side who have conceded in eight of their last 11 competitive fixtures.
The positive for Lewandowski's chances in that game is that Slovakia were seeing goals conceded against teams well below Poland (21st) in the world rankings.
Israel (85th) put four past them in two games, Czech Republic (40th) put five past them in their two Nations League contests while Malta (185th) held them to a 2-2 draw in World Cup qualifying. A couple of goals for Lewandowski in that game will put him in the Golden Boot hunt.
We do have to acknowledge that Lewandowski's tournament showings haven't been the best in recent seasons. He scored just once at both Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 before failing to strike at the 2018 World Cup.
But he's still managed 66 goals in 118 international appearances.
On the back of a ridiculously prolific season, it's not unrealistic to think his form could carry on into the tournament.
Turkey will be interesting to follow this summer. They're alongside Italy, Switzerland and Wales in what appears to be quite an open Group A, and they have enjoyed quite the turnaround in the past couple of years.
They finished second in qualifying, just two points behind France, and secured a 2-0 win and a 1-1 draw in their two games against the world champions.
Turkey have since followed that up with more good results. Their World Cup qualification campaign began with a 4-2 victory over the Netherlands and a 3-0 win over Norway, before a 3-3 draw with Latvia.
They are a high-scoring team, perhaps they could become the most entertaining side to watch at Euro 2020, and that creates interest in the goalscorer market.
At a huge 50/1, I'm willing to back BURAK YILMAZ to score more than anyone else. The great thing about that price is the each-way value it also creates with a quarter of the odds on offer for a top-four finish.
Turkey have scored a whopping 22 goals across their last 10 games. They hit 18 during the qualification campaign with an xG tally of 18.5 and remarkably conceded just three.
A similar showing in the finals should see them go far which gives Yilmaz plenty of opportunities to strike.
The 35-year-old forward can go out on a high considering his own form as well as that of Turkey. He's scored 15 goals in 26 appearances for Lille. His three appearances for Turkey in 2021 have brought four goals - that was boosted by a hat-trick in the win over the Netherlands.
History has shown how players can make the most of the group stages without their team playing more than four games in total. At the 2018 World Cup, Spain's Diego Costa and Columbia's Yerry Mina both hit three despite their teams going out in the round of 16 while Romania's Bogdan Stancu scored two even with them finishing bottom of Group A at Euro 2016.
At 35, it would certainly be a remarkable achievement for Yilmaz to be in the Golden Boot reckoning.
However, his form for both club and country has been superb and he has every chance of being among the leading scorers this summer.
Germany are an intriguing team at the moment. They clearly have talent throughout their squad but there remains the concern that things could go wrong for them again. Die Mannschaft crashed out of the 2018 World Cup at the group stage, let's not forget.
Timo Werner's hit-and-miss form for Chelsea will place extra emphasis on Serge Gnabry to provide the goals among the forwards, but with such a low bar of goals required to get among the places, there is some value on offer around their side.
At 66/1, it's worth a play on ILKAY GUNDOGAN being among the leading scorers. The midfielder has enjoyed a prolific season with Premier League champions Manchester City.
Gundogan's campaign concluded with 17 goals across all competitions and his new touch for goal is demonstrated in the fact that he scored 22 in 164 games for the club before this season.
We could say this is down to his position in that team but it's clearly a change in approach from the midfielder, too. He scored three goals in five Euro 2020 qualification games while his World Cup qualifying campaign began with two goals across Germany's first three games.
The bonus with this selection is that he is trusted with penalties, and VAR being in use at the tournament should lead to more spot-kicks being awarded. In what could be competitive games against France and Portugal, we may well see the referee point to the spot.
Is the fact that he's not a striker a concern when it comes to backing him to be the top goalscorer? Not really, and there is an element of looking at the each-way value on these selections too.
Ivan Perišić & Yerry Mina in 2018, Dimitri Payet in 2016, and James Rodriguez and Andre Schurrle in 2014 are just some examples of players at recent major tournaments who have scored three or more goals despite not being out-and-out forwards.
Based on his season so far, Gundogan can continue his fine form in front of goal.
Odds correct at 0730 BST (03/06/21)
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