World Cup Golden Boot Update
As the second round of group games came to a close, five players were tied in the race to become the World Cup’s leading goal scorer. Karim Benzema, Thomas Muller, Enner Valencia and the Dutch pair of Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben have all found the net on three separate occasions and it promises to be a tight conclusion in the battle for the Golden Boot.
Germany’s Thomas Muller has scored the only hat trick of the tournament so far and the Bayern Munich man will be looking to add to his tally when his side face USA in their final group match. The Germans need a point to qualify and will be a little nervous against a team managed by their former striker Jurgen Klinsmann.
The US beat Ghana in their opener and were leading a strong Portuguese unit until the fifth minute of injury time. Clint Dempsey has scored twice for Klinsmann’s men and shouldn’t be ruled out of the Golden Boot race but both Germany and the United States need to qualify if either of their men is to win their individual battle.
Ecuador’s Enner Valencia is another player who needs his country to progress if he is to finish as the tournament’s leading scorer. The 25 year old opened the scoring against Switzerland before adding a double in a 2-1 win over Honduras but his Ecuador team now need a positive result against a French team who have dominated the group.
Within that French side is Karim Benzema who would have headed the goal scoring list had it not been for a missed penalty against the Swiss. The Real Madrid striker still holds the joint lead with three and unlike Muller and Valencia, his team are guaranteed a place in the knockout stages.
Dutch Masters Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben both scored twice in a 5-1 victory over Spain that must surely be the performance of the tournament so far. The two men followed that up with a goal apiece in the narrow, 3-2 win against Australia and will be looking to get ahead in the race for the Golden Boot when the Netherlands face Chile in their final group game.
Like Karim Benzema’s France, the Dutch are guaranteed a place in the last 16 but will want to avoid a potential knockout game against tournament favourites Brazil.
There may be five players tied on three goals at the top of the charts but the current Golden Boot favourite isn’t one of them. Lionel Messi has struck twice for Argentina so far but the Barcelona striker leads the betting at 5.10 with Betfair.
Messi has scored against Iran and Bosnia and will certainly be looking to add to his total when his team face Nigeria. The Argentines aren’t quite guaranteed a place in the last 16 but it would take an unlikely set of results to send Alex Sabella’s side home.
Brazil’s Neymar staked an early claim with a double against Croatia in the opening game of the tournament and he follows close behind in the current market. The striker failed to score in the follow up against Mexico but he looks sharp and shouldn’t be ruled out.
Talking of players who look sharp, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez was in scintillating form as his team ended England’s qualification hopes. The Liverpool man also has two goals to his name but the Uruguayans have to beat Italy if they are to progress.
Ivory Coast’s Gervinho and the Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez are also tied on two goals apiece but neither is expected to overcome the favourites here. Robben, Van Persie and Muller look to be in pole position but according to the soccer bookmakers at least, Lionel Messi is the man to beat here.