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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Who Will Become Leading Goal Scorer of EPL 08-09?

It is now the second half of English Premier League 08-09 going on with Manchester United having a 7-point lead at the top of the point table. Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa are still in the title race and there are 12 matches left in the season. Manchester United now has a considerable lead atop the table, but there is an intense competition for the high goal scorer’s title. First, I would like to introduce you with some of the top scorers of this season so far here:

Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea)

Chelsea’s French striker Nicolas Anelka has been in excellent scoring form and is currently leading the premier league table with 15 goals to his credit. He scored a hat-trick against Sunderland last November and led Chelsea to a number of wins in premier league so far this season. Anelka even scored Chelsea’s recent 1-0 victory over high-flying Aston Villa.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Last season’s highest scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, is also in the right track to defend his title this season. Scoring 12 goals, Ronaldo now sits in the second position in the list of highest goal scorers. World’s no. 1 player missed a number of matches at the start of the season due to his ankle injury for which he had to undergo a surgery. Since coming back in action, Ronaldo is getting his form back gradually, but he is yet to show the grace that he did last season both in premier league and Europe.

Robinho (Manchester City)

Since joining Manchester City, making a British transfer record, Robinho has been in excellent form so far this season. He made an instant impact on City’s performance and scored a hat-trick against Stoke City last October and has so far scored 11 goals to secure the third place in the highest scorer’s list. No doubt, the Brazilian striker is now very much active to become the highest goal scorer of the season.

Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)

Gabriel Agbonlahor has been instrumental behind Aston Villa’s excellent run so far this season as they are currently in the title race with 51 points from 26 matches. Agbonlahor scored the second fastest hat-trick of premier league against Manchester City last August, scoring three goals in 7 minutes. The English international has played a big role behind Aston Villa’s 2-0 win over Arsenal last November and has scored 10 goals so far this season.

Kevin Davies (Bolton Wanderers)

Bolton Wanderers Captain, Kevin Davies, has been in revelation this season scoring 10 goals so far and is running for the highest scorer’s title this season. The 31-year-old striker has been awarded the Bolton captaincy this season following his new contract by which he will remain at Bolton until 2011. He scored 2 goals in Bolton’s 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. When he scored against West Ham United at home in the following game, he reached 50-goal mark for Bolton.

Amr Zaki (Wigan Athletic)

The Egyptian striker is now playing for Wigan Athletic on loan from Egyptian club El Zamalek. Like Agbonlahor and Davies, Zaki has also scored 10 goals so far in premier league. Scoring 2 goals in Wigan’s 5-0 thrash of Hull City, Zaki showed his grace in premier league and since then, he has been scoring consistently for Wigan Athletic. In fact, his scoring form is one of the big reasons behind Wigan’s mid-table presence in the league table.

Darren Bent (Tottenham Hotspur)

Darren Bent has scored 9 premier league goals for Tottenham Hotspur and is so far the leading scorer for the North London club with 12 goals in all competitions so far this season. However, Bent has often been fully criticized for squandering easy chances in front of goal as he did against Portsmouth this season.

Djibril Cisse (Sunderland)

The French striker has been showing excellent for Sunderland since joining the club on a loan deal from Olympique de Marseille as he has already scored 9 goals for his new club. Having seen considerable success at Sunderland, Cisse now wants to play for Sunderland permanently.

Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth/ Tottenham Hotspur)

The English striker joined Portsmouth permanently at the start of the current season, following a loan term with the club from Tottenham Hotspur. However, his form with Portsmouth in the first half was not anything more than a mediocre, and he joined his former club Tottenham Hotspur in January 2009 transfer window ending all the rumors. He has scored 9 goals so far this season.

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

The Liverpool captain missed a few games at the start of the season as he was suffering from a groin injury and had to undergo a surgery, but he came back pretty quickly. Gerrard has scored nine goals so far and has been in good form recently. So, he is one of the hardest contenders of winning the highest goal scorer’s title this season.

Frank Lampard (Chelsea)

The English midfielder also netted 9 goals for Chelsea so far in premier league. The playmaker started off the season excellently, scoring five goals in 11 premier league matches and got his 100th premier league goal in Chelsea’s 5-0 win against Sunderland last November. He then went few games without any score, but came back to his scoring form against West Bromwich Albion, followed it up with two more goals against Fulham.

Robin van Persie (Arseanl)

Robin van Per has taken up the job done by Emmanuel Adebayor last season for Arsenal. Scoring 9 goals, Robin van Per has so far been the highest scorer for the Gunners in Premier league. The Dutch striker scored his 50th goal for Arsenal during a 4-4 draw against Tottenham Hotspur last October. He even captained Arsenal in a FA Cup win over Plymouth Argyle in the absence of injured captain Cesc Fabregas and stand-in captain Manuel Almunia. The Dutch international either scored or assisted each and every Arsenal goal in January 2009.

Well, I think, Nicolas Anelka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie will go through an intense competition to become the highest goal scorer of premier league this season. With Didier Drogba back into the regular squad of Chelsea, I think, Anelka will not have as much scoring chances as it would have been without Drogba as attacking partner. Ronaldo has not got back his scoring form of last season yet, but he is gradually getting into his prime form and if he continues this way, then he has good chance to defend the highest goal scorer’s title. Robin van Persie has been playing in the final eleven of Arsenal pretty consistently, and with the arrival of a playmaker Andrei Arshavin, I think, Robin van Persie will have more scoring chances in the coming months. So, he can make a realistic competition with Anelka and Ronaldo to become the highest scorer of the season in English premier league.

Well, Gerrard, Lampard and Robinho have also been in scoring form this season, but I think they very little chance because of a few reason. Gerrard rescued Liverpool on a number of times and helped Liverpool to win matches by scoring goals, but his main role in the squad is to create chances for the strikers, especially for Fernando Torres. Lampard’s role in Chelsea squad is also exactly like the role Gerrard is playing in Liverpool squad. In the presence Anelka and Drogba playing together up front, I think, Lampard would have to be busy in setting up goals for them. For Robinho, he is in good form, but he might not be a strong contender to be the highest scorer this season because Manchester City squad lacks a creative midfielder like Lampard, Gerrard or Arshavin. So, the competition will be among the three genuine strikers: Anelka, Ronaldo and Robin van Persie.

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