Premier League: Race for the Golden Boot
Luis Suarez, Robin Van Persie & Gareth Bale battle for Premier League Golden Boot
The Premier League title race might be over, but the race for this season’s Golden Boot is anything but.
With less than ten games to go in the English top flight, only nine goals separate the top eight players. That means a late charge could make all the difference for one of the division's leadings marksmen.
Currently leading the pack is Liverpool star Luis Suarez, who has 22 goals in 29 appearances for the Reds.
The controversial Uruguayan has missed just one match for Brendan Rodgers this season, and is pivotal to the Anfield outfit’s charge for a European place next season.
Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie is next on the list, with the Dutchman scoring 19 goals in 29 league games for the Red Devils this term.
RVP joined in a £24million move from Arsenal in the summer transfer window, and has certainly re-paid that fee on the road to Premier League glory.
Games against Sunderland, Stoke, West Ham and Aston Villa are amongst the final nine fixtures for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, and Van Persie will need to fill his boots during these matches in particular if he's to retain the award he won last season.
Gareth Bale is a further three goals back on 16, with an incredible run of form for Tottenham Hotspur putting the Welshman in contention for the trophy.
The Spurs star has also notched his total in fewer games, with Bale making just 26 appearances for the White Hart Lane outfit this term.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side face Wigan, Southampton, Stoke and Sunderland in the final four games of the season, and this should offer Bale the chance to go on another great goalscoring spree for Tottenham.
Chelsea forward Demba Ba and Swansea striker Michu are tied in joint-fourth on 15 goals, and it’s the Senegalese star who will be under pressure to continue finding the back of the net in the final games of the season.
The Blues currently occupy third spot in the Premier League, and are desperate to secure a top four finish – and with it a place in the Champions League for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Ba, who scored 13 of his 15 league goals for Newcastle prior to a January move to west London, will need to come good if Rafa Benitez is to leave Chelsea with a smile on his face.
Three players sit level on 13 goals, and would need a big run to challenge for the prestigious trophy.
Southampton star Rickie Lambert is one of the players on that total, and is the leading English goalscorer in the top flight this season.
Aston Villa star Christian Benteke and Chelsea starlet Romelu Lukaku - on loan at West Bromwich Albion – are the other players on the ‘unlucky’ number.
Other notable mentions go to Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko and Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard, who are both on 12 goals despite fewer appearances this term (25 and 21 respectively, with 13 coming as a substitute for the Bosnian international).
Wayne Rooney is also on 12, whilst Arsenal duo Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are a further goal back on 11.
Premier League Top Goalscorers 2012/13:
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) – 22
Robin Van Persie (Manchester United) – 19
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) – 16
Demba Ba (Chelsea) – 15
Miguel Michu (Swansea City) – 15
Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) – 13
Rickie Lambert (Southampton) – 13
Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion) – 13
Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) – 12
Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – 12
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) - 12
NB: Correct as of Thursday, 28th March 2013