Rodgers comments strengthens Van Persie Golden Boot case
It is looking like a straight shootout between Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez in the race to be Premier League top scorer at present, but comments from Brendan Rodgers make the Manchester United striker a big favourite for the accolade.
Van Persie already has the edge as he bids to be top goalscorer for the second season in succession, with his tally of 16 putting him one clear of Suarez at the top of the pile.
However, Suarez is arguably the form horse at present, with recent doubles against Sunderland and QPR taking him to within one goal of Van Persie.
He was even potentially the value bet to scoop the accolade at 7/4, but comments from Liverpool manager Rodgers now suggest Van Persie must be backed at 11/10 to end the season as the Premier League’s top scorer.
Rodgers noted that Suarez will have to “adapt” his game following the arrival of Daniel Sturridge and that the new £12m man has been bought to play centre forward, rather than in a wider berth that was more regularly the case at Chelsea.
Suarez will play in what is mostly recognised as ‘the number 10 role’, a position that he was highly effective in previously at Ajax when paired with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
However, Rodgers has made it clear that Suarez will be free to roam to influence play, tucking in from the left side at times, which in turn allow the full-backs to have a greater attacking influence.
Suarez will still regularly burst into penalty boxes and have plenty of shots, but the new slightly deeper role suggests that he will be creator than outright scorer.
Punters should think of it more as Dennis Bergkamp to Thierry Henry, Roberto Mancini to Gianluca Vialli, Kenny Dalglish to Ian Rush or even now Wayne Rooney to Van Persie.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date