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Everton and Leicester hotshots provide value in top scorer market

| 22.09.2014

With Chelsea and Diego Costa opening up considerable leads in the Premier League table and top-scorer standings already, some might suggest neither will be caught this season.

However, having a short-price favourite gives rise to a whole host of value picks elsewhere in the market, and the golden boot race in particular is far from run.

Costa, 1/1 to finish as top scorer in his debut year at Chelsea, might have amassed seven strikes already, but persistent injury worries and the possibility Jose Mourinho might save him for Champions League duty at times might hamper his chances.

It’s also worth looking beyond forwards from the other sides likely to feature in the title race, as the most generous odds can be found further down the table.

Since the start of the 2012/13 season, only Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez have scored more Premier League goals than Romelu Lukaku’s 34.

The Belgian appears to be clicking into gear after his permanent move to Everton in the summer, with his goal against Crystal Palace his second in as many league games.

Lukaku scored 15 goals in 31 league matches on loan at the Toffees last term, and 17 in 35 at West Brom in 2012/13. Now free from Chelsea’s influence entirely, his 20/1 price to be top scorer looks very tempting.

Meanwhile, the current leader of the pack chasing Costa is Leicester City’s Leonardo Ulloa, who is available at a princely 33/1 despite netting five goals in the league already.

The Argentine has netted his five goals from just 11 shots, with that precision helping him notch twice in Leicester’s 5-3 win over Manchester United in their last match.

Also hovering around the middle reaches of the market is Southampton forward Graziano Pelle at 50/1, who has bagged three times in five games so far.

Reunited with his former manager Ronald Koeman, who he scored 55 goals in 66 games under at Feyenoord, Pelle is the undoubted first choice forward for the Saints.

Making the Italian an even more tempting proposition is the fact that he’ll be lining up against QPR, who have lost each of their league away games 4-0 this term, in Southampton’s next match.

If Pelle repeats the brace he bagged in his last outing at St Mary’s, or even grabs a hat-trick against the hapless Rs, his odds will likely dive.

Perhaps surprisingly, Emmanuel Adebayor is available at the high price of 40/1, despite being the first-choice forward in a supposedly attacking Tottenham Hotspur side.

The Togolese striker’s long price is testament to his poor start to the campaign, but as he showed with his run of 11 goals in 14 all-competition games last season, he can enjoy hot streaks.

Finally, Wilfried Bony might be set for a spell on the sidelines after being red carded in Swansea’s last match, but his 66/1 odds look generous considering he bagged 16 league goals in his debut year in Wales.

With Ladbrokes paying out each way bets for the first four in the top scorer standings, each of these five hotshots also offer a fine chance of a handsome return even if Costa maintains his current rate.

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

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Alex Fortune