Robin Van Persie’s hat-trick in the 7-1 demolition of Blackburn has seen him shorten substantially in the Premier League odds to win the Golden Boot, but it may still be too early to guarantee the Arsenal striker the accolade.
Van Persie’s treble took his Premier League tally to 22 already for the season and it is now just 4/11 that he claims top scorer honours.
The emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should ensure that the Dutchman continues to profit from a steady stream of chances, but there are grounds to believe that Sergio Aguero can make up his current seven-goal deficit on Van Persie.
Firstly, in three of the last five Premier League seasons, the Golden Boot winner has been part of the team that has gone on to win the title, while the last to represent a team that failed to finish in the top four was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2000/01.
Meanwhile, Aguero is particularly hot at the Etihad Stadium with 11 out of his 15 Premier League goals coming at home.
This could prove important as four of the current bottom six in the Premier League standings still have to travel to the Etihad Stadium and this should mean plenty of goals for Manchester City.
Aston Villa also are the next opposition for Manchester City and they are still waiting for a first clean sheet in 2012.
Furthermore, Aguero has featured in all but one of Manchester City’s Premier League games this season and he will continue to lead the line with the club already out of the Champions League and FA Cup.
This may not be true of Van Persie, who may be rested on a more regular basis as Arsene Wenger looks to secure Arsenal their first trophy in seven years in either of these competitions.
It would also be a surprise if Van Persie managed to complete a whole season without picking up an injury and given that he has played in all of Arsenal’s Premier League games, there is an additional risk of burnout in the latter part of the campaign.
With Aguero being linked with a move to Real Madrid, this is another reason for Aguero to be regularly picked to be kept as happy as possible and 4/1 could be worth considering that the Argentine wins the Golden Boot in his first Premier League season.