Premier League Player of the Year Odds
Eden Hazard has been playing like a man possessed this season and the new system implemented by new manager Maurizio Sarri seems to have revitalized Hazard who has been in a rut last season with Antonio Conte. Hazard currently leads the English Premier League in goals, with 7 goals scored in 8 matches and is tied for 2nd in assists with 3 assists.
Few expect Hazard to continue his current goalscoring form, since he is not a pure forward that scores a lot but rather a hybrid between a winger and a forward that is equally adept at scoring and creating for others. Still, he is the focal piece in the Chelsea attack and Sarri has found a role that suits him best. If Chelsea are able to keep up in a title race, he is the hands-down favorite for the Premier League Player of the Year and a 20 goal and 10 assists season should be a given.
Harry Kane is the goalscoring forward that makes the Spurs go. For 4 straight seasons in the English Premier League, Kane has scored at least 20 goals, including 29 and 30 goals in the last two. He has started this season in similar pace with 5 goals scored in the opening 8 matches.
The 25-year-old striker is more mature and complete player now and is able to be more than a pure target man. Without him at the center of Tottenham’s attacking moves, the Spurs are a pale shadow of themselves. He is my favorite for the Top Goalscorer award in the English Premier League but he could put together a season worthy of the Player of the Year Award if Tottenham are able to mount a title challenge.
Ever since arriving at Manchester City from Atletico Madrid, Sergio Aguero has been one of the best strikers in the English Premier League. He has scored 148 goals in 214 EPL appearances and has 4 straight 20-goal seasons in EPL.
His scoring prowess has never been in question but his slight build and injury-prone play might be the reason why he doesn’t win the award. He has missed significant time due to injuries for several seasons now and Guardiola has already mentioned that he will be rotated with other forwards, in order to compete in both EPL and UEFA Champions League.
Although Liverpool is playing lights out and currently sharing the league lead with Chelsea and Manchester City, their enigmatic leader and best player Mohamed Salah is not playing well. The best and most consistent player in this Liverpool squad has been the 23-year-old box-to-box midfielder Naby Keita. Keita is a new addition to Liverpool, coming from the RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga.
Keita’s contribution to his team cannot be summed up in goals and assists, which he has none this season. He is the dynamo that keeps Liverpool purring and the engine that drives the league’s best defense. He is a master at winning possession and initiating counter-attacks, a skill that is invaluable in modern soccer. He can also successfully participate in attack and score.
If Liverpool are able to win the title this year, the way it looks now, it will be behind an epic all-around season by Naby Keita.
Paul Pogba is the best player on an under-performing Manchester United Squad. He is the key player in the midfield and plays a modern box-to-box role that has become a must in soccer. His physical profile is unmatched in EPL and few players can keep up with the pace, skill, strength and the leaping ability of Pogba.
He has had an uneven start to the season, with some forgettable and some amazing performances. He has scored 2 goals in the opening 8 matches, and 5 goals in total including the European and cup competitions. While his goalscoring numbers will never be among the best in the league, his importance to team success is actually much greater and creates room for other players to shine.
Still, he is an underdog in this race since Manchester United has been performing poorly. Unless the Red Devils improve and finish the season with a strong run, I don’t see Pogba making a real push for the Player of the Year Award.
Premier League Top Goalscorer Odds
Harry Kane is the main favorite for this award, despite Eden Hazard being the current leader in the goals scored in EPL with 7 goals. Kane has scored 5 goals in the opening 8 matches and has been the only consistent scoring threat that the Spurs have had this season.
He has excellent goalscoring pedigree, with 113 goals scored in 158 English Premier League appearances for Tottenham Hotspurs. He has also scored 20 or more goals in each of the 4 seasons since he has become a starter for the Spurs. In his last 2 EPL seasons, he has scored 29 and 30 goals respectively.
Kane is the focal point of the Spurs attack as a target man, poacher and penalty kick taker. All this leads to the conclusion that he will get plenty of goalscoring opportunities this season. He has been remarkably healthy and consistent as well. Whatever happens, he will be among the league leaders in goals as the EPL season nears its end.
Sergio Aguero has been the class of the English Premier League since he joined Manchester City from Atletico Madrid back in 2011. In 7 Premier League seasons, Aguero has scored 148 goals in 214 matches. In 5 of those 7 seasons he has scored 20 or more goals in the EPL, including a career-high 26 goals in 2015. In each of the last 4 seasons in EPL, Aguero has scored at least 20 goals.
Aguero is probably the best pure goalscorer in the EPL along with Kane, but unlike him, he actually has competition in his own team, with the presence of Gabriel Jesus who is a goal-machine in his own right. At the same time, Manchester City have a very deep team that is trying to challenge on several fronts this season and there is bound to be some rest and rotation for Aguero in order to keep him fresh for the key games. This might lower his scoring numbers a bit.
The only concern that I have with Aguero is his durability and injury-prone build. He always seems to carry nagging injuries and ends up missing significant time at one point of the season or another. Barring any injuries, Aguero should be near or on the top of the goalscoring charts at the end of the season.
Eden Hazard has been revitalized by the arrival of Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. The Belgian versatile forward is currently leading the English Premier League goalscoring charts with 7 goals in opening 8 matches. Although not a pure goalscorer, Hazard has managed to score 76 goals in 216 English Premier League matches.
Hazard is expected to carry a bigger offensive load this season in the EPL, due to a role that he will play in Maurizio Sarri’s system. He will be used more like Lavezzi and Insigne in Napoli and Antoine Griezmann in Atletico Madrid. That means he will get more scoring opportunities, as well as set pieces and penalty kicks that he can score from.
I don’t expect Hazard to keep up his current scoring pace but a 20-goal season is a realistic possibility this season for him. Whether that will be enough for the Top Goalscorer Award, it remains to be seen.
The Egyptian forward was by far the best player in the English Premier League last season. He has scored 32 goals in 36 matches and 47 goals in all competitions that season. This season, he has gotten off to a slower start with 3 goals in 8 opening matches. Overall, Salah has never replicated the type of form that he displayed at Liverpool last season. His personal bests were with AS Roma in 2016 and 2017 with 14 and 15 goals.
He is still the central figure in Liverpool’s attack but the scoring numbers will be more evenly divided between him, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Still, a 15 plus goals season is always a possibility for Salah in that system. Jurgen Klopp loves to score and push the tempo for 90 minutes and that usually reflects well on the scoring totals of his forwards.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arrived mid-season last year at Arsenal and has immediately become one of the fan favorites in London. He scored 10 goals in his 13 EPL appearances last season. He has started this season strong as well, with 4 goals in opening 8 matches. He is expected to carry Arsenal’s new offense under Unai Emery.
The main problem with Aubameyang is the fact that he has Alexander Lacazette playing alongside him and he will take away plenty of scoring chances from him, as he is a goal-poacher and not a great creator for others. Still, if Arsenal continue their good run of form, I can see Aubameyang having a 20-goal season in the EPL.
Romelu Lukaku is coming off a 27-goal first season with the Red Devils, 16 of which were scored in the English Premier League. He is an old-school target man, playing in Jose Mourinho’s system which is not known for prolific offenses.
Lukaku is an impressive physical specimen that runs well with the ball, is dominant in the air and has the feel for goals. Manchester United has failed to provide him with plenty of goal scoring opportunities this season but he has still managed to score 4 goals in opening 8 appearances. Mourinho has been tinkering with his lineups recently and a 3-forward formation with Lukaku, Martial and Sanchez seems to be his new preference and that should boost his scoring totals.
Lukaku is a premium goalscoring talent that is capable of regularly delivering 20+ goal seasons in the EPL but he also needs plenty of creative support to create chances for him as a target man. If Manchester United are able to get it together and start playing better, he might be the Dark Horse in the Top Goalscorer race.
For the end, I have left a sleeper candidate, Aleksandar Mitrovic from Fulham. Serbian striker has been in fantastic form this season, scoring 5 goals in the opening 8 matches in the EPL. He was also the teams leading goalscorer last season in the English Championship with 12 goals in the 17 matches, since he arrived at Fulham mid-season.
Mitrovic is a powerful striker that dominates in the air and is able to hold up the ball against world-class defenders. His goal-scoring instincts are very high and he has a knack for good positioning. Most of his goals come from headers or simple finishes but his ability to fight for position in the box is what makes him so dangerous.
Fulham have decided to transfer their offensive system from the English Championship to the English Premier League. The results haven’t been great as they have the league’s worst defense but at least they create plenty of scoring chances, most of them for Mitrovic. That gives him an outside chance of making a run at the Top Goalscorer Award.