No great surprise to see Sergio Aguero (7/2) heading the betting for the 2016/17 Golden Boot. The City front man begins his 6th season in English football with a record of 102 goals in 150 appearances and at the age of 28, he could well be approaching his peak. The arrival of Pep Guardiola and his unique brand of innovative & attacking football, can only further enhance Agueros potency. However, the one big question mark that hangs over the Argentine is his fitness - he continues to pick up niggling injuries that always seem to strike as he hits top form. Were it not for this, then he would surely have added to his single Golden Boot award (2015). If Kun plays 30+ games this season, it will be difficult to see who will outgun him.
Last seasons winner Harry Kane (7/1) and runner-up Jamie Vardy (18/1) both start back after a miserable campaign for England at the European Championships. Kane in particular looks a shadow of the striker that was so consistent for Mauro Pochettino over the past 18 months. Vardy was a force-of-nature last season, notching 24 goals as teams continued to under-estimate both him and Leicester in general. That will not be the case this time out and he will clearly be a marked man. However, the retention of key playmaker Riyhad Mahrez will be a boon for his chances. Both Kane and Vardy will have to contend with the additional rigours of a Champions League campaign this time round.
Perhaps the biggest name (in more ways than one) at the top of the betting market is Zlatan Ibrahimovic (10/1). The Swede is now 34 but continues to defy his years as he comes off the back of a prolific season for PSG and he will not be in the mood to slow down just yet as he reunites with his favourite boss, Jose Mourinho. Ibra is likely to impose himself on the United dressing room very quickly so don’t be surprised if he has the last word on both penalties and free-kicks and with no Champions League at Old Trafford this season, his focus will be 100% on the EPL. Physically he should have no problems in adapting to the Premier League, however Andrei Shevchenko demonstrated just how difficult it can be for an ageing striker to adapt to the intense pace at which the English game is played. Last season, Romelu Lukaku (14/1) became only the 5th player to score 50 Premier League goals before the age of 23. His goal scoring record certainly stands up to scrutiny yet he seems capable of so much more. With their new found riches, Everton are looking to recruit heavily before the end of August in a bid to lend some much needed support to the Belgian. However, Chelsea seem keen to lure Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge so expect that price to be trimmed should the move materialise.
If you are looking for an each-way punt then you it might pay to take a look at the teams that are not expected to be challenging at the top end of the table. Clubs not competing in Europe do not have the same need to rotate their starting line up so these strikers can benefit from a lot more minutes on the pitch than some of their more glamorous counter-parts. Charlie Austin (QPR), Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) and of course Jamie Vardy have all challenged at the top of the charts in recent seasons, despite not playing for one of the so called big teams. Burnleys Andre Gray (80/1) will be riding the crest of a wave having notched 23 goals as Sean Dyches men bounced straight back up from The Championship. Gray has had a Vardy-esque rise from lower league football and much like the Leicester man did last year, he will be looking to use his pace to catch teams on the break. There is still plenty of transfer business still to be concluded before the end of August and the likes of Christian Benteke (50/1) and Wilfried Bony (80/1) will be keen to reignite their club careers after failing to make the breakthrough at Liverpool and City respectively. A new club could mean a new lease of life for these two – as long as that new club isn't Hull City of course.