Defoe and Podolski stake their claim in the race to be top scorer
Big prices make these two strong starters good outside punts
Robin van Persie remains clear favourite with Ladbrokes to be the Premier League’s top scorer come the end of the season, but two strikers from north London have staked their claim following strong starts to the campaign.
At 16/1 Jermain Defoe could be regarded as a decent outside bet after netting a brace in Spurs’ win at Reading, taking his seasonal tally to three from four, whereas Lukas Podolski registered his second in Arsenal colours as the Gunners ran Southampton ragged.
The German striker is a 20/1 shot for the crown and his spectacular free-kick against the Saints proved he has the capability to score from outside the box, as well as inside. His 19 goals for Cologne last season also demonstrated his goalscorer’s instinct; another encouraging sign for those wishing to back the 27-year-old.
He started the Southampton game as the spearhead of the Arsenal attack, with Olivier Giroud struggling to adapt to Premier League life. However, once the Frenchman has overcome his teething issues, the German will likely take up a role on the left of a front three, as he does with the national team.
This shift out wide would involve more responsibilities in the assisting department which will hinder Podolski’s chances to find the net regularly, detracting value from his hefty price.
Defoe, on the other hand, is flying under the guidance of Andre Villas Boas, who retained faith in the England international by granting him a starting spot at the Madjeski, where he might have found himself benched under Harry Redknapp.
A natural finisher, Defoe will always score goals for his side given the opportunities and, alike Podolski, has it in his locker to find the net in a variety of ways.
His ability to play the lone striker role in AVB’s 4-3-3 system could yet scupper his chances of competing to be top scorer.
Emmanuel Adebayor was recruited for his qualities as a target man and seems better suited to the role than Defoe, who is too slight of frame to hold the ball up or win headers against powerful centre-halves.
However, his goalscoring antics at Reading should see him start the next few league games and, with home fixtures against QPR and Villa either side of a trip to Old Trafford, he will have his eye on producing more of the same in front of the Spurs’ fans.
All odds and markets correct as of publication