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Euro 2016 Top Goalscorer Preview

Spain's Alvaro Morata has been in goalscoring form at Euro 2016
There’s still a lot of value to be found in unearthing the Euro 2016 top scorer and we'll look to do just that.
Two whirlwind weeks into Euro 2016 and it’s still not clear whose tournament this is to lose. France have proved shy in front of goal, Germany fallible, Italy erratic and Spain perhaps as yet untested. Certainly this past week brought a few more goals to proceedings with Belgium and Spain both blasting their way to 3-0 wins, which leaves the race for the Golden Boot evenly poised. There’s still a lot of value to be found in unearthing this competition’s top scorer and this week we’ll look to do just that.

Alvaro Morata  9/2

Alvaro Morata was short of luck as Spain failed to break down a brave Czech Republic defence in their opening fixture, settling for a 1-0 win thanks to a late header from centre-back Gerard Pique. Morata was criticised for looking to play off the shoulder, rather than attempting to poach from a more central position in a match where Spain probably missed the mercurial Diego Costa. Nevertheless, Morata came good in his second start as La Roja put three past a lacklustre Turkish side. The centre-forward tucked away an unmarked header before tapping in to round off a typically sumptuous Spanish movement. Morata has three goals to his name and is certainly worth a decent bet at the price available.

Gareth Bale  9/2

Gareth Bale is joint favourite, along with Alvaro Morata, to become Euro 2016 top goal scorer at odds of 9/2. The Real Madrid and Wales talisman scored three goals in the group stages, one in each game, to top the scorer's list and guide the debutants to the last 16 as Group B winners. Bale is the first player to score in all three group games at a EURO finals since Netherlands’ Ruud van Nistelrooy and Czech Republic’s Milan Baros in 2004. At the time of writing, Bale has the most shots on target (14), most take-ons (13) and the most goals, along with Morata, in Euro 2016. If that doesn’t convince you Bale scored seven goals in qualifying which shows his consistency. At 9/2, he is worth a punt. 

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Romelu Lukaku  7/1

Romelu Lukaku is perhaps the player on this list most likely to divide opinion, as he generally seems to do among pundits and fans alike. Lukaku was frankly awful in Belgium’s opening loss to Italy, a product of his side’s directionless approach to the fixture. His first touch let him down on numerous occasions, while his decision-making when presented with space was baffling. Still surprisingly young given his prominence in world football thus far, Lukaku is prone to performances such as the Italian debacle. Yet he will gain immeasurable confidence from his brace against the Republic of Ireland, in particular his first composed finish - meeting Kevin De Bruyne’s ball across the front of the box and slotting home from the edge. Much will depend of how Lukaku gets on against Sweden, but a small bet at 7/1 could prove profitable. 

Dimitri Payet  10/1

Dimitri Payet just loves to leave it late. The playmaker’s goals for his country have come in the following minutes: 91’, 64’, 90’, 89’, 96’. However, brought on as a substitute against Switzerland, Payet was unable to galvanise France to a goal as the sides settled for a goalless draw. Of course, this didn’t stop Dimitri Payet almost breaking the crossbar with a beautiful volley that fully deserved to find the back of the net. Prior to Switzerland, France secured an unbearably late 2-0 win over Albania with Payet dribbling and finishing in emphatic fashion to seal the victory. And who can forget his wonderful effort off his left foot to seal the three points for France in the tournament’s opening match against Romania? I feel France will only get stronger as the stakes get higher and Payet is my best bet for Golden Boot at 10/1.

Thomas Muller  14/1

Take your hesitant wager on Gareth Bale and instead throw it the way of Thomas Muller. It’s true that the German has failed to find the back of the net in 180 minutes so far, and would probably benefit from a more central role instead of operating on the right hand side. In addition, Germany haven’t exactly set the tournament alight and an insipid goalless draw with Poland certainly brings into question their capability of winning this tournament. However, Germany are due a big performance and given Muller’s goalscoring record at World Cups, I’d be wary of discounting the wily utility forward. He’ll undoubtedly have his chances and he is only two goals back of the leaders. At 14/1, Muller is tough to pass up.

Written by Rick John Henry