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Best bet for World Cup Golden Boot is Argentine but not Messi

| 13.05.2014

Argentina fans don’t know how lucky they have it.

The talents of Lionel Messi are supplemented with an array of attacking fortitude from Gonzalo Higuain to Sergio Aguero through Ezequiel Lavezzi. Yet they’re protesting about the potential non-inclusion of Carlos Tevez.

With the exception of Lavezzi, any one of those forwards could quite easily finish the World Cup as the Golden Boot winner and while many will lump on Messi – the favourite in the market at 8/1 – it’s one of his teammates that should be preferred.

In his first season at Napoli, Gonzalo Higuain has settled as quickly as world-class strikers are expected to, scoring 24 goals in all competitions for Gli Azzurri.

With a solid goal-scoring season behind him, the 25/1-shot for Golden Boot glory will head to Brazil in confident form and, as the preferred option to lead Alejandro Sabella’s line, will have plenty of opportunities to find the net.

La Albiceleste share Group F with Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria in one of the most untesting first round draws at the tournament, possibly with Belgium’s Group H.

At 1/6 to win that group, Argentina’s expected dominance is clear and, having scored four times in as many appearances at the last World Cup in South Africa, Higuain has a pedigree in the tournament too.

With nine strikes in 11 games during the qualification process, the 26-year-old is obviously Sabella’s striker of choice, with Messi and Aguero playing off him.

The only danger that poses is the former Real Madrid man’s movement off the ball may pull defenders out of position for his teammates to capitalise on, but his scoring record means any worries are only brief.

An added feather in the Serie A striker’s cap is the fact that in five of the seven World Cups held in the Americas a player from the same continent has claimed Golden Boot honours.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.