After a summer of rumour and seemingly endless transfer speculation, attention refocuses on the actual football as the 2013-14 Premier League season finally begins.
With uncertainty surrounding the eventual whereabouts of several leading players, it can be difficult to assess the available betting opportunities, but the markets for the Top Goalscorer are most certainly challenging with many new expensive arrivals interspersed with others for whom a change of club may be forthcoming.
Last season’s leading scorer Robin Van Persie appears to be as settled as any of the favourites and will be expected to continue his role in leading the Manchester United attack. William Hill quote him at 7/2 to retain the honour as Premier League top striker. For the Dutchman to equal or surpass his 2012-13 total of 26 league goals, Bet Victor are quoting him at 11/4 to score over 25.5.
Sergio Aguero of Manchester City should be a serious challenger once again and is priced at 9/1 by Bet Victor, but he will face competition from within his own team. Alvaro Negredo netted 25 league goals for Sevilla last season with new Man.City boss Manuel Pellegrini having witnessed his undoubted talent during his tenure at Malaga. The Spaniard is 28/1 with Sporting Bet to eclipse both Aguero and Van Persie in the scoring charts. Stevan Jovetic, a City import from Fiorentina, is available at 40/1 with Skybet.
Uncertainty prevails over the futures of both Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez who are both priced at 16/1at Ladbrokes, with Suarez still suspended for the opening games.
Similarly, should Gareth Bale remain at Tottenham Hotspur, he is 25/1 with Bet Victor.
There are no such problems for Christian Benteke who has agreed to stay at an Aston Villa team which may improve from last season’s close encounter with relegation. He is 18/1 with Coral who offer 1/4 the odds on him being in the first four placings. Benteke was fourth in the list last season and is a decent each way bet again.
At 20/1 with Stan James, Roberto Soldado is another reasonable each way possibility at the same 1/4 odds. He may bear most responsibility for goals at White Hart Lane and he was fifth in the Spanish lists when scoring 24 for Valencia last season.
Wilfried Bony topped the Dutch Eredivisie goalscoring chart last season when netting 31 goals for for Vitesse Arnhem and he may outscore Michu at Swansea this season. Bony is 50/1 with Boylesports who also offer the 1/4 odds each way for a first four placing.
There were no Arsenal players in the first ten placings in last season’s Premier League scoring charts as goals tend to be distributed amongst the team.
Fernando Torres is 7/2 at Skybet but the returning Romelu Lukaku could be given extra playing time by Jose Mourinho after an impressive season on loan at West Brom and he is 5/1 at Coral to become the leading scorer at Stamford Bridge.
Although there are still some decent prices available, the markets could change significantly should there be another expensive striker transfer in the near future.