Before a ball had even been kicked in the 2018/19 Premier League season, it seemed like most of the footballing world had all but anointed Manchester City as champions once again.
The assertion that City will sweep aside all before them – just as they did last year – is well founded. City are the best-funded, best-equipped and, arguably, the best-managed side in the division.
But, just as importantly, they have the best natural finisher in the Premier League leading the line, up front.
Argentinian ace Sergio Aguero may be short in stature, but since his arrival in Manchester in 2011 the little hitman has been lethal in front of goal, netting 143 times in England’s top flight in just 206 starts (and 27 substitute appearances). He also passed the 200-goal mark for strikes registered in all competitions earlier this year.
And, this season, he seems to be on course for a similarly successful year in front of goal and the bookmakers have pegged “Kun” as the betting favourite to top the Premier League scoring charts by the season’s end.
The William Hill top goalscorer betting market has Aguero listed as 11/4 favourite to be the EPL’s top goalscorer in 2018/19, just ahead of Tottenham’s Harry Kane at 3/1.
Aguero or Kane?
The argument in Aguero’s favour would likely concern Kane’s ability to keep pace for the entire season after a draining campaign – physically and mentally – last year that saw him go all the way to the World Cup semi-finals with England in Russia.
While Spurs lean heavily on Kane’s goals, City have more goalscoring threats throughout the team. Under usual circumstances, that would count against Aguero’s odds but, with City creating significantly more goalscoring opportunities than any other side in the division, the fact that City share their goals around shouldn’t significantly count against the Argentinian hitman in the betting stakes.
After just six games, the creative chasm between City and the rest of the Premier League is already strikingly evident.
According to the Premier League’s official stats, the Sky Blues had a staggering 140 shots at goal in their opening half-dozen games – an average of more than 23 a game. That leaves the second most shot-happy side in the league, Chelsea, a whopping 29 shots back, with 111 from their six games. Tottenham, meanwhile, are ranked fifth in the list, with 87 shots in their opening six matches.
But, when it comes down to the big occasions and the crucial games, City, more often than not, turn to their pocket rocket up front. Aguero has a knack for scoring in the big games for City (including THAT goal against QPR) and is also the Sky Blues’ first-choice penalty taker.
With City certs to challenge for the title again in 2018/19, Aguero looks a surefire pick to finish in the top three in the race for the Golden Boot.
And, if City can continue their prolific approach to creating chances for their strikers – and, if Aguero stays fit for the majority of the campaign – it would be no shock at all if he finished the season with the Golden Boot… and another Premier League title.