Man Utd ace handicapped in top-scorer odds duel v Man City rival

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Two games into the 2016/17 Premier League campaign and the division’s top-scorer betting is already looks a one-on-one shoot-out.

Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sit joint-top of the standings with three goals apiece, with the Argentine marginally shorter in the market to be leading marksman at 9/4.

Ibra is deemed his only serious rival at 10/3, with Chelsea’s Diego Costa next in the reckoning alongside Harry Kane of Tottenham at 10/1.

Despite being inseparable in the scoring stakes at this early juncture, several statistics suggest that the Swede has needed to be far more clinical in order to net his three strikes than Aguero.

Most obviously he has profited from one penalty to the Manchester City man’s two, but a host of other metrics suggest that either Manchester United’s general attacking play must improve or the Swede has little margin for error in keeping pace with his shorter, stouter adversary.

Zlatan has placed a greater percentage of his goal attempts on target (80% to Kun’s 50%) and converted 60% of his chances to the 28-year-old’s 30%.

The pair have enjoyed similar amounts of time on the pitch (Aguero 178 minutes, Ibrahimovic 189) and a near identical amount of touches of the ball during that period (A = 96, I =95).

Yet, the statistics indicate Ibra is having to come deeper to receive possession than City’s goal-getter in chief, with just 22 of his 66 interactions with the orb coming inside the final third.

The Argentine has had fewer touches (57) so far this term, but has still taken a greater number (33) inside the most-attacking trisector, also enjoying twice as many in the penalty area (16 to the Swede’s eight).

Receiving the ball close to the goal more often than his Old Trafford opposite number has entitled Aguero to have double the amount of shots (10-5) and triple the amount of efforts from inside the 18-yard-box (9-3).

Jewel in the Citizens’ attacking crown he doubtless is, but Kun evidently has his teammates to thank for putting him in possession in more profitable areas than Ibrahimovic.

The Malmo native’s supporting cast at United will need to step up to the plate if he is to throw down a concerted challenge to the Premier League top-scorer betting favourite as the campaign develops.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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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.