WHO’S going to take Golden Boot honours at the Copa America this summer? We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) for his favourite fancies.
Copa America: Top Goalscorer | 14th June – 7th July 2019 | Premier Sports
There’s plenty of big names heading the Top Goalscorer market for this 2019 Copa America with the top five comprising of Lionel Messi, Gabriel Jesus, Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and Sergio Aguero.
All are excellent attackers in their own right but in a tournament that has a maximum of six games I tend to look for a few bigger prices attached to red-hot strikers with each-way interests and that’s what I’ve plumped for here.
Duvan Zapata (40/1 Bet365)
Duvan Zapata has been one of the standout strikers in Europe this season. He was an integral part of an Atalanta side that reached the Coppa Italia final, as well as a top four spot and Champions League qualification from Serie A. He’s revelled as the focal point in Gian Piero Gaspereni’s adventurous 3-4-2-1 system and his sheer power and profile makes him perfect to play as a single number nine.
Zapata finished as second top goalscorer in the Italian top-flight with an impressive 23-goal haul and will be hoping that form resonates on the international stage. He’s benefitted from playing with his back away from goal; Josep Ilicic and Papau Gomez take up those half spaces between midfield and defence, allowing Zapata to play at the top of the pitch. He’s excellent at attacking crosses and possesses a lethal strike.
You would imagine he would be fighting with Radamel Falcao for the starting berth up front, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them alter formations to get both in. Luis Muriel is another option for gaffer Carlos Queiroz but he’s likely to be used off the bench. Going off form and form purely, it would be strange for the ex-Manchester United assistant not to start Zapata.
Looking at his underlying numbers in the 2018/19 season, the Colombian he is averaging a healthy 3.20 shots per-game with 1.40 landing on-target. WhoScored gave him an average rating of 7.32 which highlights his all round game strengths too.
I think Colombia will score a few in the group stages too which is a key point of reference when looking at these markets. They have Paraguay and Qatar in their pool and the ‘big’ side in the group is Argentina, who are eminently gettable at the back given their top-heavy nature.
Zapata has the likes of Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez supplying him and that should mean chances aplenty. Should he start then 40/1 quotes look well worth an each-way punt .
Josef Martinez (75/1 Betfair)
If you’re not privy with ‘soccer’ across the pond then maybe you haven’t heard of Josef Martinez. If you haven’t then get to know him; he broke the record for number of MLS goals (35) in a season last term as he fired Atlanta United to the title, as well as picking up an additional accolade up by scooping the MVP award
Martinez also notched 10 times in 15 games this season in the States, impressive considering the Red & Blacks more withdrawn overall approach this time around, compared to last season.
Of course, you have to factor in the quality of the league but after following him quite closely for about two years now, he just looks a natural born goalscorer. Martinez likes to play on the shoulder and get onto through balls, using his pace and timing to get into one-on-one situations. Once he’s in that position he is ice cool in front of goal and you best believe he’s going to put them chances away.
Martinez also likes to mix it in the build up too – an excellent crosser and he has an eye for a pass. His probable partnership with Salomon Rondon is an exciting one and if Venezuela play direct to the physical presence of the on-loan Newcastle man then Martinez could be the ultimate beneficiary.
Defenders sometimes become pre-occupied with the aerial threat of Rondon and he naturally drags players towards him as the primary target. That could mean more space for the Atlanta man and if he can use that to his advantage he could notch a few. He’s likely to be on penalties too – he takes them for his club side and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t for his national team too.
Over the last three years he’s averaging a healthy 3.20 shots per-game with a lot of this ending on target and most of those ending in the back of the net. What’s more, Venezuela have an atrocious away side in Bolivia in their group, Martinez recently bagged a hat-trick against La Verde so he has previous. If he can manage a hat trick or a couple of braces then he could easily be right up there.
It is a wildcard selection given the step up in quality but if Venezuela make it through their group then that 75/1 price could look massive and I think it has to be worth an each-way punt with Betfair. He’s around 50/1 elsewhere and I’d have him more of a 33/1 poke, in all honestly.