WLB Season Preview 2020/21 | Premier League: Top Goalscorer
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (6/1 Bet365)
I put him up last year, along with the eventual winner Jamie Vardy, and I’m going to do so again this season.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has had a few fantastic goalscoring seasons of late, scoring 20 or more goals in four of his last six campaigns, with 22 goals in both of his last two at the Emirates.
You just know the Gabonese hitman will be up there if he stays fit and given the fact he is on spot-kick duty it’s another bonus on our side; with the increase in penalties given due to VAR, picking players who take them may be key in who wins the Golden Boot come May.
PEA has arguably gone up another level under the stewardship of Mikel Arteta, who has found a system that gets the maximum out of the Arsenal frontman. The Gunners look to overload the left-hand side, usually with Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and sometimes Granit Xhaka, which allows Aubameyang to drift inside, often unattended, giving him time and space to get a shot off.
Playing off the left also means PEA can be found at the back post to nod home. His finishing ability is superb and he can score all types of goals given his clever movement; although the Arsenal skipper is now 31, his pace hasn’t diminished.
6/1 (Bet365) quotes look more than fair given his record. You know he will start the large majority of league games whereas Sergio Aguero (8/1) and Gabriel Jesus (20/1) seem to get rotated quite often, whilst none of the Manchester United forwards look like they could storm this market as they spread the goals out pretty evenly.
Elsewhere, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have joined Chelsea and we do not know how they’ll both fit into the side as of yet. Harry Kane is an obvious threat but is under a more defensive-minded manager in Jose Mourinho and has had injury problems of late. Mo Salah heads the market and that’s understandable but with Champions League football he may get rotated a bit more this season.
Of all the front runners, I think Aubameyang represents the best bet and 6/1 looks decent.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (100/1 Spreadex)
It’s always worth looking at the bigger prices in the Top Goalscorer market and backing a few outsiders at each-way quotes to hopefully give yourself a run for your money.
In 15 of the past 18 Premier League seasons a player at 50/1 or bigger has placed in the Top Goalscorer market – last year it was 200/1 shot Danny Ings who got in. It’s a trend that's certainly worth analysing and there’s two players that make appeal.
First up is Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Englishman is still only 23 but has improved season-on-season and he formed a great partnership with Richarlison last term as Carlo Ancelotti plumped for a traditional 4-4-2 – the front two complimented each other well, both notching 13 goals in the end.
From when Ancelotti came in up until the league postponement, the Toffees improved their attacking output dramatically and DCL was one of the beneficiaries of the refreshing forward-thinking approach.
Looking at the data on Everton players, Calvert-Lewin actually underperformed his Expected Goals (xG) output of 16 whereas Richarlison overperformed his by the same relative margin (10). Having player specific xG data is a big plus when delving into these markets and I’m surprised therefore that Calvert-Lewin isn’t a shorter price than his strike partner.
As a player he stays much more central than Richarlison, who likes to float out wide and his movement in the box is superb, to create a yard or two of space for himself in presentable positions means he averaged one of the best non-penalty xG figures in the league.
It looks like Everton are shaking up their rather tired looking midfield with the capture of Allan and prospective signings of Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez will inject greater quality and potential for assists. The Toffees already have one of the best left-backs in the league with Lucas Digne who recorded more assists than any other Everton player last season and his crossing is perfect for Calvert-Lewin who is excellent in the air.
DCL will be looking at a place in the England squad in the summer and that makes this season a big one . I was shocked to see a triple-figure price available with Spreadex and that makes him a very keen each-way poke.
Michail Antonio (150/1 Bet365)
Finally, I’m going to plump for one of my favourite players outside the Big Six to upset the applecart and make a charge for a place.
Michail Antonio hasn’t always being a striker, for years he was utilised as a winger and even a right-back, but David Moyes has opted for the former Nottingham Forest man to be played down the middle and it paid dividends when he was back fit last season.
Antonio only managed 19 starts last season due to injury keeping him out for almost half the campaign but he still recorded double-figures in the goal column and I expect plenty more this season if he can keep fit. The versatile forward now has the brilliant Jarrod Bowen supporting him, the ex-Hull attacker recorded four assists in just 11 games and really impressed fans with his quality in the final third.
The 30-year-old has the physical presence to hold off defenders but also the intense work rate to press and harry defenders into mistakes. He averaged 3.5 shots per-90 minutes last season which puts him right up there for attempts, he often opts for power over placement but has improved his movement in the box and upped his anticipation levels when the ball is loose, he’s often there to tap home.
The Hammers looked much more of a threat going forward with Antonio, Bowen and Tomas Soucek after the break and fans will be hoping that carries on into this season and I see no reason why it should not.
150/1 (Bet365) just looks too big to me and again I’m going to play it each-way with a quarter of the odds for four places. It would still land us a huge profit if he gets a place.