Lewandowski can outscore Van Persie, Ronaldo and co at Euros

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It may be quite right that the likes of Mario Gomez, Robin Van Persie and Cristiano Ronaldo head the betting to be Euro 2012 top scorer, but history suggests that punters should consider Robert Lewandowski.

Ladbrokes are offering the top price on Lewandowski winning the Golden Boot at 33/1 and it has not always been the biggest names from the top teams that have scored the most goals at the Euros in the past.

In 2000, former Aston Villa striker Savo Milosevic netted five goals for Yugoslavia, while in the next tournament in 2004 it was Milan Baros of the Czech Republic that was another equally surprising Golden Boot winner.

David Villa slightly bucked this trend at Euro 2008, but he did prove that finding a player who will score in the group stages is more important than picking a striker for a team more likely to reach the latter stages of the tournament.

All of Villa’s four goals came in the group stages, while he failed to score in any of the three matches in the knockout rounds.

Meanwhile, Baros netted in all three of the Czech’s group matches in 2004, with Milosevic helping himself to four group-stage goals in 2000.

If a smaller nation is to make the quarter finals, they are likely to come from Group A, where there is an absence of a European heavyweight.

Russia look the strongest, but it is unclear on paper who will be given the nod in attack between Roman Pavlyuchenko, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Aleksandr Kerzhakov.

Therefore, it may pay to side with Lewandowski, who scored 22 goals this season to help fire Dortmund to the Bundesliga title.

He is certain to start every game if fit as Poland’s chief attacking threat and only three times in history have the hosts failed to make it beyond the group stages, which bodes well that they can score some goals.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.