Rooney can top Van Persie in hunt for Golden Boot

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Scoring in bursts has been one of the key characteristics of the career of Wayne Rooney and this can help him overtake Robin Van Persie in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot.

A more ruthless streak in front of goal has seen Van Persie enjoy a sustained scoring run throughout 2011, averaging a goal a game across his 33 Premier League fixtures in the calendar year.

The Dutchman has already managed 15 league goals before Christmas in the current campaign to lead the scoring charts and he is understandably the 11/8 favourite to win the Golden Boot.

However, despite a recent barren streak in front of goal lasting for eight fixtures, Rooney remains only three adrift of Van Persie and arguably represents the better bet in the Premier League odds at 10/3.

Van Persie has been known to be particularly fragile in the past and with Arsenal currently being overly reliant on his goals, there is not only the risk of burnout, but also that he may suffer an injury that will keep him sidelined for an extended period of time.

Furthermore, with Arsenal effectively out of the title race, the FA Cup and Champions League represent the club’s best hopes of silverware this season, meaning that Van Persie is likely to also start in these competitions.

With Manchester United relegated from the Champions League to the Europa League, there is a strong possibility that Sir Alex Ferguson will rest his biggest stars and focus solely on wrestling the Premier League crown from neighbours Manchester City.

Therefore, almost Rooney’s sole responsibility will be on scoring in the Premier League and he has currently shown signs of rediscovering his scoring boots of late.

The England striker has three goals in his last two games and with leading relegation candidates Wigan and Blackburn still to visit Old Trafford in 2011, further goals for Rooney seem almost guaranteed.

Meanwhile, with Manchester United in general getting back among the goals after a relatively modest period, this only boosts the chances of Rooney continuing to find the target with regularity.

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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.