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Chelsea’s striker curse make Hazard best bet for top scorer

| 13.08.2014

Everything is especially rosy in the Chelsea garden at the moment, with the Blues enjoying a fine transfer window courtesy of their continuous raids on La Liga.

Jose Mourinho might have left Spain under a cloud, but it hasn’t stopped him plundering Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis this summer.

Of the three, it is Costa Blues fans will be most excited to see in action after years of horrendous returns from their strikers.

The Spain international is comfortable 4/6 favourite to be Chelsea’s top Premier League scorer this season after his move, with the hapless Fernando Torres and ageing Didier Drogba his only competition in the striker ranks.

However, the Blues have had an unwelcome habit of breaking prolific forwards in recent years, with Torres the most obvious example.

The Spaniard scored just six league goals in his first full season at Chelsea, having netted 18 for Liverpool in his final complete campaign there.

Adrian Mutu, Mateja Kezman and Andriy Shevchenko are three other examples of free-scoring forwards who left their shooting boots at their previous clubs, netting just 14 goals between them in their first full seasons at Stamford Bridge.

In each of the past four campaigns, a midfielder has finished as Chelsea’s top league scorer, with Eden Hazard following Frank Lampard (twice) and Florent Malouda to the head of the standings.

Daniel Sturridge did finish joint with Lampard in 2011/12, but he played plenty of his games on the flanks of the Blues’ attack.

Hazard is the best bet to extend this trend at 9/2, having scored nine and 14 goals in the league in his two seasons at Chelsea, but Fabregas is also worth considering at 12/1.

In 2011/12, his most prolific year at Arsenal, the midfielder scored 15 league goals to top the Gunners’ standings, and he notched 28 strikes in 96 La Liga games for Barcelona.

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

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Alex Fortune