The 2020/21 Premier League season returns and Tom Carnduff picks out three selections for the Golden Boot priced at 6/1, 33/1 and 150/1.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
A Premier League season like no other has its knock-on effect for the next with the 2020/21 campaign beginning at the far later date of September 12.
A shortened off-season, in which the Champions League and Europa League provided football to watch on almost every day through August, could potentially be an issue in the opening weeks as teams feel the effects of limited time away from the pitch.
There is a return to some normality though with the transfer window finishing around a month after the season gets underway. The window slams shut (a phrase that must be used as per the rules of football) on October 5. That does give teams the opportunity to add reinforcements if they haven't started as they would have hoped.
Does that have an impact on making Golden Boot selections for the new campaign? Somewhat. A world-class forward coming into the league will always stand a chance, but that is perhaps something that would be worth consideration in the future. Missing the first few games, coupled with the need to integrate into a new team, makes those currently at their clubs better picks.
History has taught us that it's not a category that is one for those chasing the fairytale storyline. The winner often plays for those at the top-end of the table and they need to be involved with a team battling around the European places.
However, that doesn't rule out the remainder of those forwards in good form. Southampton's Danny Ings finished joint-second last season as he's certainly a name to keep an eye on as the season progresses. That's why there is big each-way value out there.
That's to come but it's a battle between the usual suspects to claim the award and Arsenal's PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG has enough to reclaim the award he won in 2018/19.
Granted he had to share it with Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah but he followed it up with another 22 goals in 2019/20 - that was just one behind Leicester's Jamie Vardy who claimed the title for the first time.
Aubameyang has been a consistent performer since arriving at the Emirates from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018. The ten goals scored in 13 appearances during the second-half of that season really were a good indication of things to come. Even in an Arsenal side that were struggling, the Gabon forward has always played his part.
Things are changing in North London. Mikel Arteta's arrival signalled the direction the club wanted to go in following the disappointing spell of Unai Emery. In half a season, Arteta managed to steady the ship and scoop a trophy at the end of it; FA Cup success came with victory over Chelsea in the final.
This is an Arsenal team who should be battling in the top-six once again and, following that cup success, could enjoy a long stretch in the Europa League. The fact that Aubameyang was expected to leave but has now reportedly signed a new deal shows how much faith he has in the current project.
It would have been easy for him to depart and go to a club enjoying Champions League football; wherever that may have been would have brought goals. Instead, a desire to stay in his current environment and spearhead an attack that should produce goals next season shows where all parties are at this moment in time.
One price that provides real interest is the 33/1 available on RAUL JIMENEZ winning the Golden Boot, a player who enjoyed a solid season with Wolves last time out.
This is a bet with one eye on the each-way value but there is a case to be made that the Mexican striker can win the award. His 27 goals across all competitions helped Wolves finish in the top-half of the Premier League table and reach the quarter-final stage of the Europa League.
No European involvement may help Wolves this season, although the lack of activity in the transfer window may balance that out. The sheer number of games had an impact in the end and Jimenez will benefit from having a sole focus on the Premier League throughout the new campaign.
Little more needs to be said on the quality of this Wolves team who have enjoyed two great Premier League seasons since promotion from the Sky Bet Championship. The presence of Jimenez gives them a significant attacking threat though and he'll be aiming to build on another strong campaign.
Even if they don't build upon last season's finish, Jimenez will only stand to benefit from an extended period in English football and, as Ings showed last season, you don't have to be with a team at the top to have involvement here.
Only Salah posted more total shots while he sat in third for efforts on target. His goal conversion rate of 19.1% was incredibly strong considering those high number of shots; Salah sat on 20%.
A positive for the Wolves forward is that he sat outside of the top-20 for big chances missed by regular Premier League forwards last season. This is a stat that can be viewed both ways but in this case it reflects that he is often converting the chances that come his way.
The likes of Sergio Aguero, Roberto Firmino and Vardy sat above Jimenez in that category but so too did MICHAIL ANTONIO. The West Ham forward may have only scored ten goals last season, but his form at the end of the campaign gives hope to the each-way value on offer from his 150/1 price.
Of course, he could have finished with a higher total had he converted a few of the 14 big chances missed across the season but his showings in July suggest that he is a player who is enjoying his football and the role he plays in the West Ham system.
Nobody is expecting the Hammers to be big scorers as a team but that won't hold back individual players from building up their own tallies. Antonio's performances in that final month led to him winning the Player of the Month award and he can carry that form into the new campaign.
Antonio scored eight goals in the seven games across July. The highlight was the four scored in West Ham's 4-0 victory over Norwich but he would also go onto score against Watford and Manchester United in successive games.
It would be a serious achievement to replicate another four-goal game at some point in the new campaign but momentum can be key and a strong start through September and October should throw him among the other contenders throughout the campaign.
20 goals has been the marker for a top-four spot in the Golden Boot race across the past four season and it's likely to be the same again given the attacking quality now on display in the league. Based on a strong finish, Antonio has the potential to hit that tally if he continues in a preferred centre forward role.
Odds correct at 0700 BST (07/09/20)
Follow Sporting Life on social - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC
Related football content
We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.
If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit begambleaware.org.