I gave out the best value picks to win the World Cup earlier this week. Now I’m going to look at value picks to win the Golden Boot, as the World Cup’s top goalscorer.
Four players led the tournament with five goals each in 2010. Germany’s Thomas Muller won the Golden Boot because he made more assists than David Villa, Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan.
When looking for players with value, I’m not just looking at the best players in the world. I’m looking at schedules and if I think the player’s team will make a deep run in the tournament. Mueller, Villa, Sneijder and Forlan’s teams all made the semifinals in 2010.
Diego Costa 28/1
I think Spain is going to make at least the semifinals and a lot will have to do with the Brazilian-born Costa. The distractions of playing for Spain in his birth country, his rumored transfer to Chelsea and his hamstring injury is why I think his price to win the Golden Boot is low. He played in Spain’s friendly against El Salvador so he proved he was fit enough to start. Costa is the focal point of the most talented roster at the World Cup. He scored 36 goals in all competitions for Ateltico Madrid this season and I think his form will continue this summer.
The big Brazilian can play forward or out wide. It looks like he will start on the wing and have the freedom to attack with the likes of Fred and Neymar. Brazil’s strong central midfield of Oscar, Paulinho and Luis Gustavo will cover for Hulk when he wants to try to link up with Fred. Both Fred and Neymar have higher odds to win the Golden Boot but I think Hulk will have plenty of scoring chances this summer. Brazil’s group of Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon doesn’t have the best defenders. Hulk scored 21 goals for Zenit Saint Petersburg this season and scored for Brazil in a pre-World Cup friendly against Panama. He also had another goal against Serbia that was wrongfully ruled offsides.
Edison Cavani 33/1
Cavani’s teammate Luis Suarez is listed higher at 18/1 despite battling a knee injury. The last reports was that Suarez might miss the opener against Costa Rica and is targeting a return for the match against England. Cavani could score against a shaky Costa Rica back line. However, I think Cavani will benefit with playing along side Suarez. The Liverpool partnership of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge took the EPL by storm this season as the duo seemed to score goals at will. Suarez made Sturridge a better player and I think his playmaking ability will benefit Cavani, who netted 25 goals this season for PSG in a system that featured Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Edin Dzeko 50/1
I have Bosnia going to the quarterfinals in one my biggest surprise picks of the tournament. That would give Dzeko five games at the tournament. The striker is beaming with confidence after his EPL campaign at Manchester City where he scored 26 goals in all competitions. If Bosnia make a quarterfinal run, Dzeko will need to score goals. Playing Iran and Nigeria in the group stage will give Dzeko opportunity to score multiple goals in one match. I watched the U.S. friendly against Nigeria and their defense struggled mightily. Dzeko is the best player for the World Cup newcomers (first tournament as an independent country) and I think there’s value at 50/1.
Josip Drmic 80/1
If you are looking for a long shot, Switzerland striker Josip Drmic is the player you want to back. Switzerland doesn’t get much respect because they are a seeded team but that hasn’t had much success at major competitions. Switzerland will make the tournament and do well but they they don’t impress anyone with their style of play or results. I think the future is bright for Switzerland and the 21-year-old Drmic is one of the reasons. He scored 17 goals in the Bundesliga for Nurnberg and is Bayer Leverkusen-bound after agreeing to a deal their last month. Midfielders Xherdan Shaqiri, 22, and Granit Xhaka, 21, are the other young players that give Switzerland hope for the future. I think the trio can make a statement during this tournament in Brazil, and Shaqiri and Xhaka will help Drmic create chances.
You are probably wondering at this point why I didn’t include any Argentina players. Lionel Messi (7/1), Sergio Aguero (14/1) and Gonzalo Higuain (20/1) are all going to have great tournaments. They are in a group with Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria, and goals will be plentiful for La Albiceleste early on. I don’t think there is value on the three players because they will split the goals between each other. I think Argentina will score the most goals this World Cup but an individual won’t lead the tournament.