Deadly, lethal, prolific -- just a few adjectives often used to describe Team Limey's nightclub performances on a Saturday night. Back in the real world, these are apt descriptions of the elite goal-scorers discussed in this week's column. More specifically, we're looking at who we think will be donning the Golden Boot as the English Premier League's top scorer this season.
It's basic logic that high-scoring teams reside towards the top end of the league. Indeed, over the last eight seasons, the EPL's top scorer has played for one of the sides finishing in the top four. There's a plethora of striking talent across the "Big Four," and whether a player becomes the league's top scorer isn't just down to individual talent; it's also driven by his team's formation and strategy and the other personnel in the squad.
The departures of
So far this season, Rooney is playing in a central role and has scored four goals in four league matches. He's also on fire for England, with 10 goals in his last eight outings. Brimming with confidence, and determined to have a strong season ahead of next summer's trip to South Africa, Rooney is a prime candidate to finish on top of the scoring pile.
After successfully deploying
As Liverpool's only out-and-out goal-scorer, Torres is in a strong position to improve on his '07-08 haul of 24 EPL goals. However, "
Arsenal has numerous striking possibilities, even with the departure of
If, come May, the EPL's top scorer plays for a club outside the Big Four, he'll likely play for Aston Villa, Everton, Manchester City or Tottenham, the teams that, lacking a neat catch-all adjective, we'll underwhelmingly term the "Quite Big Four."
Filled with the autumnal excitement of chasing a Champions League spot, and after this hope becomes forlorn, racing for Europa League qualification and trips to nuclear power plant towns in the former USSR, how many goals can their impressive array of strikers bag? Will
With four goals thus far, Spurs striker
But it takes consistency to win the Golden Boot. Currently partnering Defoe is
With 24 goals, new Man. City signing Adebayor was, when at Arsenal, the second top scorer of '07-08. Last season, dogged by minor injuries and an almost audible baying Arsenal crowd who had turned against him, Adebayor underperformed. Now, with three goals in as many games, he's back to his best and, after
"As soon as you play for a team where the fans love you and are always behind you, you try to give them something back," Adebayor told Sky Sports.
Tall and strong, with a deft touch and a turn of pace, the Togolese striker is difficult to defend against, whether running at defenders or competing for crosses. Often the axis of City's attacks, Adebayor drops back to hold up the ball and feed teammates' runs forward before accelerating into the box to pounce. In Tévez,
No other player realistically has a shot at being the top scorer. And that's not to demean a lot of adept strikers, but outside the leading clubs, the number of chances created is lower. Sunderland's
That top five will, we think, finish in the following order: Torres, Rooney, Drogba, Adebayor and Defoe. Rooney, a man in form who is focused on his own target of 30 goals in all competitions, may just be tipped by hit man Torres, the fulcrum of Liverpool's offense.
Last time out, we asked for your predictions for the EPL title. A clean sweep of you went for Chelsea or Manchester United. We don't blame you. Even when Burnley defeated Manchester United and Everton to make it six points out of a possible 9, the newcomers were still a long shot. This time out, we're after your thoughts on who will be the EPL's top scorer. And to those wits amongst you, please invent a humorous collective term for the Europa League spot challengers and send it to