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Euro 2012

Race for The Euro 2012 Golden Boot

Euro 2012 is just around the corner and the excitement is already starting to build for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

As ever, one of the most popular betting markets is the outright top scorer of the competition. With many of the European strikers having incredible seasons at club level, the race for the Golden Boot will surely be hotly contested.

Mario Gomez

Gomez is the favourite to be the top scorer at Euro 2012 and it’s easy to see why. His club scoring record this season has certainly been impressive; this has also coincided with an improvement in his record for the national side.

Gomez found the net 41 times for Bayern Munich this season and was also Germany’s leading scorer in qualifying for the competition, scoring 6 times in as many appearances.

Germany have been backed to reach the final of Euro 2012, that means they would play six matches, and Gomez’s ability to score in most games would see him go very close here.

One of the only potential setbacks, for Gomez, is the fact Germany are playing in the group of death. But if they come out on top in that group, surely he will have scored at least two or three goals.

Furthermore, the fact that he has Miroslav Klose competing for his starting place may mean he doesn’t always play.

However, should Gomez be views by Joachim Lowe as his team’s best striker he will be a confident bet to be the leading scorer in the competition.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 15/2

Robin Van Persie

Van Persie has been the catalyst for Arsenal this season and has all but won the Golden Boot in the Premier League with 30 goals (after 38 games).

He will lead the line for Holland after scoring six goals in six qualifying games, albeit four of those came in one game against San Marino.

This season, impressively, Van Persie has been able to avoid injury. When, in the past he has struggled to do this. Still his ability to play every few days remains in question.

Should Holland do as expected and qualify from a group including Germany and Portugal, Van Persie has at least four games to make his mark on the tournament.

Given his club form, and the attacking quality around him, Van Persie would very much be expected to finish amongst the top scoring list.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 17/2

Klaas Jan Huntelaar

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was Holland’s top scorer in qualifying and in fact scored more times than any other player from any country.

Huntelaar played eight games yet managed to score twelve goals, again his tally was helped by playing San Marino twice but he did score in seven of his eight games which is impressive.

He also finished his domestic season for Schalke 04 as top scorer in the German Bundesliga with 29 league goals.

The fact that he is not even guaranteed to be leading attacker at Euro 2012 creates fairly short odds on the striker, although he is obviously going to be a threat in a tournament where Holland should reach the semi-finals at least.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 12/1

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has to be one of the favourites in the Golden Boot, simply due to his undoubted ability and club scoring record. However, this doesn’t quite translate to international level.

Having said that seven goals in eight games in qualifying is a good return and the fact that he takes the team’s set pieces and is a threat from anywhere makes him a serious contender.

The problem for Ronaldo is Portugal’s group. Portugal are third favourites in the ‘group of death’ behind Germany and Holland and he might only get three (tough) games to score in making his task very difficult.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 12/1

Miroslav Klose

The former World Cup Golden Boot knows all about these major tournaments and he will be playing in a side that scores plenty of goals (averaged 3.4 a game in qualifying).

Klose was the team’s top scorer in qualifying with seven goals in six starts and even if he plays second fiddle to Gomez at Euro 2012 it would be no surprise to see him score three or four goals from the bench suggesting he remains an each way contender at the very least.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 14/1

Karim Benzema

A player who has found his feet in La Liga after a slow start for Madrid, Benzema is starting to show his full arsenal of skills for Jose Mourinho’s title winning Real Madrid side.

Despite being played in a few different positions, and being rotated with Higuain, Benzema has broken the 20 goal mark in the league and is the stand out forward in French football at the minute.

Despite France’s recent resurgence under Laurent Blanc, they are considered outsiders for the tournament. However, they should qualify with England from their group giving Benzema enough games to mount a challenge.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 14/1

Fernando Llorente

If Fernando Llorente is given a starting place for Spain he is surely going to go close to being the tournament’s top scorer with games against the likes of Republic Of Ireland and Croatia in the group stage.

Llorente has shown his goal threat on the European stage this season in the Europa League and he is a very difficult player to defend against.

Until recently he looked to be ahead of Roberto Soldado in the pecking order but that might have changed after an impressive friendly performance recently. David Villa’s had already been ruled out of the tournament through injury.

If Llorente is given the nod for Spain he will look a good value play in this market. However, if he is sat on the bench for the first few games, he will be unlikely to get enough chances to win the Golden Boot.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 16/1

Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres has been backed for the Golden Boot since returning to some sort of form for Chelsea at the end of the season.

He still looks well off the ability he showed at his peak for Liverpool though and is far from guaranteed to start for Spain even with David Villa out injured with the likes of Roberto Soldado and Fernando Llorente waiting in the wings.

Last time round, Torres scored the winning goal for Spain in a 1-0 final victory against Germany.

However, he has has never been a player to score many goals away from home and since none of these games are going to take place in Spain he may score less than expected.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 16/1

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski has attracted plenty of support in the Golden Boot  recently after a great season for his club Borussia Dortmund, having scored 30 goals in 46 games in all competitions.

He has also been amongst the goals for Poland in their friendlies in the lead up to Euro 2012 and he is playing in Group A, the weakest looking at Euro 2012.

Unfortunately for Lewandowski, Russia and Greece have been very strong defensively in qualifying, therefore he is unlikely to score a huge number of goals against either side.

On top of this, even if Poland qualify from Group A they are likely to face Germany or Holland in the Quarter Final. Lewandowski looks very likely to be Poland’s top scorer but it would be a surprise if he was able to outscore everyone at Euro 2012.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 16/1

Lukas Podolski

The third German striker featured in Sky Bets top 10 contenders for the tournaments golden boot. Lukas Podolski has recently confirmed a move to Arsenal following a successful domestic season with FC Koln (18 goals in 29 games)

Podolski will be keen to impress his news fans and will use this competition as an opportunity to do so.

Germany’s qualifying campaign saw the forward score once in five matches. A record he will be anxious to improve in the main European finals.

Current Sky Bet Odds – 18/1