With another edition of the UEFA Champions League well and truly underway, now is a perfect time to evaluate the performances we’ve seen so far and start predicting which teams will manage to go deep into this year’s competition based on what we’ve seen so far.
The likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain have all got off to fantastic starts; while there have also been early hiccups for Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus. It’s still relatively early days in the group stages of course, yet we’re beginning to see a few interesting developments unfold – particularly in the goal-scoring charts.
No doubt that whichever teams reach the semi-final stage will owe a large part of their success to their star forwards. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the golden boot category has been dominated by two players for over a decade: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. A quick look at the record books shows that either Ronaldo or Messi have finished as top scorer in the Champions League for 12 consecutive seasons running. That’s an amazing feat that shows the longevity of greatness these two players have managed to achieve.
Yet it’s fair to say that neither Messi or Ronaldo have raced to the top of the scoring charts this season, which begs the question as to whether their collective run of golden boots will finally be coming to an end. Let’s take a look at three players who are intent on taking home the scoring title.
Polish striker Robert Lewandowski looks like a man on a mission this season and, at 31 years old, his prowess in front of goal doesn’t look like it will be diminishing anytime soon. The three goals Lewandowski has scored so far have helped Bayern Munich to take a commanding lead in Group C, and we expect them to secure a place in the knockout stages sooner rather than later.
When taking a quick glance at the latest football betting tips and odds offered by Betfair, it’s real no surprise that the Pole is currently the bookies favourite to land the golden boot this year.
Erling Braut Haaland
With nine goals in their first two games, few teams have shown greater firepower up front than Red Bull Salzburg so far. That’s largely due to the four goals scored by Norwegian wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland, who is proving to be somewhat of a revelation this season.
Even though Salzburg aren’t expected to progress past the group stages, there are still four matches to play in which Haaland could bump up his goal tally even further – and, on current form, we wouldn’t put it past him.
Having scored four goals and one assist already, Serge Gnabry currently sits atop the goal-scoring charts following a series of world-class performances for Bayern Munich – one ahead of his teammate Robert Lewandowski, in fact.
The former Arsenal winger has certainly struck a rich vein of form early on this season and no doubt we’ll be seeing much more of his talents as the German side look set to book their passage into the knockout stages very soon.
There’s still a long way to go of course, yet we wouldn’t like to bet against any of these names stealing the goal-scoring crown away from Messi and Ronaldo. Let’s see what they have to say about that!