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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who will Become the Top Scorer of English Premier League 2010-11?

There are just few matches left before the English Premier League 2010-11 comes to an end. At the moment, Manchester United and Arsenal are leading in the title race with Manchester City and Chelsea having a slim ray of hope. Besides the title race, in fact, there is a fierce competition for a place in the top four too with Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City involved in it.

Now, let us turn our attention to the top scorers of the season so far. Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez are far ahead of other competitors in the race of becoming the top goal scorer of the season. Here, I am writing few lines about each of the top scorers of this season:

Dimitar Berbatov

There is no doubt, the Bulgarian has been enjoying his best season in Manchester United shirt since his £30.75-million move from Tottenham Hotspur in 2008. The 30-year-old striker is currently leading the top scorers’ list with 19 goals from 26 Premier League matches so far. He has already hit three hat-tricks including one which saw him scoring 5 goals in United’s 7-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, and thus, becoming the fourth player after Alan Shearer, Andrew Cole and Jermain Defoe, and the only non-English player to have scored 5 goals in a Premier League match.

Two other hat-tricks came against Liverpool and Birmingham City with United winning the matches 3-2 and 5-0 respectively. Berbatov’s superb form earned him his 7th Bulgarian Footballer of the Year award in December 2010. So, it is pretty much clear that he is one of the two biggest contenders of this season’s Premier League Golden Boot title.

Carlos Tevez

The nearest rival of Berbatov in the race of becoming the top scorer of the season is none other than his former Manchester United teammate Carlos Tevez. The Manchester City striker already scored 18 goals, having played only 23 matches. Tevez scored only one hat-trick which came in City’s 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in February.

It is true that Berbatov has a one goal lead at the moment, but to me, Carlos Tevez looks to be favorite to become the top scorer, given the consistency level of the two strikers. More importantly, Tevez now has less pressure as City signed striker Edin Dzeko in the winter.

Robin van Persie

Many of you might be surprised to see Robin van Persie just after Berbatov and Tevez in this list of probable top scorers. In fact, Darren Bent, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan all have 11 goals each, one goal more than Van Persie’s total. Well, the reason I put the Arsenal star in this list is his excellent recent form. He was sidelined for most of games during the first half of the season, but after recovering from the injury, Van Persie did not take much time to being to making impact on Arsenal’s performance.

In fact, the Dutch star scored 10 Premier League goals so far having played 15 games in which he started only nine times. His only hat-trick was against Wigan Athletic in a fixture which Arsenal won 3-0 in January. The most important thing is that Van Persie has been in high-flying form in the recent past scoring a handful of goals for the Gunners. He has now returned following a mild knee problem and is ready to challenge Tevez and Berbatov.

Andy Carroll

The tall striker has been one of the most exciting English players emerged as the new star in the horizon. Even at the beginning of the season, Andy Carroll was nobody. Then his 11 goals from 19 Premier League matches for Newcastle United during the first half of the season made him the most valuable English player ever as Liverpool landed him at Anfield for a British record fee of £35 million in the January transfer window. He scored his only hat-trick with Newcastle in his side’s 6-0 victory over Aston Villa in August 2010.

However, Carroll had to wait until 6 March to get his Liverpool debut because of an injury. Now that, he is back in action and expected to start regularly for the Reds, it seems he might pose a big threat for the other contenders of Golden Boot if he can just continue the form he had while leaving Newcastle United.

Darren Bent

The 27-year-old England international has 11 goals to his credit from 27 matches. On the back of a very successful first half of the season that saw him netting 8 goals in 20 matches for Sunderland, Darren Bent joined Aston Villa for a fee of £18 million in the January transfer window. However, he could not continue his excellent scoring form at Villa as he managed to score only 3 goals from 7 matches so far. So, considering his current form it seems less likely that he would be able to win the Golden Boot this season. However, in football, you can never say what would happy when. Bent, in fact, has got the quality to make a miracle.

Kevin Nolan

Unlike all of the aforementioned players, Kevin Nolan is an attacking midfielder who has got his name on the top scorers’ list because of his excellent scoring form. The Newcastle United star has scored 11 goals in 26 Premier League matches with a hat-trick against Sunderland in his side’s 5-1 victory in October last year. No doubt, as a midfielder he is less likely to beat the likes of Berbatov and Tevez, and become the top scorer of the season. However, the Englishman’s vibrant presence in the Newcastle midfield and his ability to score important goals made me place him in this list.

Few other players who may pose some threat for Berbatov and Tevez

Arsenal star Samir Nasri is perhaps one of the best players of Premier League this season. He may have scored only 9 goals in 21 matches, but the France international has made a significant impact on his team’s performance. Nani with 9 goals has also been an excellent performance for Manchester United, while last season’s top scorer, Didier Drogba, failed to build on a superb start to the season. He also has 9 goals to his credit so far. Sunderland’s Asamoah Gyan, who was signed for a club record £13 million from Rennes last summer, has justified his big-money transfer, scoring 9 goals so far. Last but not the least, Tottenham Hotspur striker Rafael van der Vaart has scored 10 goals since his move to White Hart Lane from Real Madrid in summer 2010 for £8 million transfer fee.

** All the above-mentioned information is based on the Premier League matches taken place until 2 March 2011.

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