Mario Gomez looks to be in prime position to finish Euro 2012 as top goalscorer after seeing two of his leading rivals for the golden boot eliminated at the end of the group phase.
The Germany striker has scored three goals in his country’s three games in the competition so far, propelling him to the top of the goalscorer chart alongside Alan Dzagoev and Mario Mandzukic.
However, with Russia’s Dzagoev and Croatia’s Mandzukic already on their way home, Gomez will be confident of taking the outright lead before his tournament is over.
Even if Dzagoev and Mandzukic are no longer in the tournament, Gomez is not without rivals.
World Cup Qualifiers - European Zone - Group F Portugal win £38.00 (9/10) Draw £68.00 (12/5) Russia win £68.00 (12/5)
Given Germany are favourites to win Euro 2012 at 2/1 and odds-on to reach the semi-finals at 1/10, Gomez could have as many as three more games in which he can add to his tally of three goals.
It should also be pointed out that Joachim Low’s side are renowned for their attacking prowess, are joint-second top scorers in the competition to date have scored two or more goals in 14 of their last 16 games
They also have the luxury of a quarter-final against Greece, who are 40/1 outsiders to win the tournament.
Although Fernando Santos’ men defended stoutly in their final group match against Russia, their performance in a 2-1 loss to Czech Republic was less impressive and they were fortunate to only concede once to Poland in their tournament opener.
This does not bode well ahead of a match against Germany and with Gomez in form in front of goal, the Bayern Munich striker could soon have clear daylight between himself and the chasing pack in the golden boot reckoning.
This is reflected in bwin’s top scorer football betting market, where Gomez is the 11/10 favourite.
Punters signing up for a bwin account can secure themselves a £20 free bet and using this to back Gomez to finish the tournament as top scorer would return £42 if successful.
However, even if Dzagoev and Mandzukic are no longer in the tournament, Gomez is not without rivals.
The chief of these is Cristiano Ronaldo, whose brace against Holland on Sunday moved him to within one of the pace-setters.
Ronaldo was criticised at the start of the tournament for his lack of success in front of goal but against the Dutch he showed why he proved so successful in a Real Madrid shirt this season.
With his Portugal side looking extremely dangerous on the counter attack and a winnable quarter-final against Czech Republic in prospect, Ronaldo appears well placed to challenge Gomez for the golden boot.
And, at odds of 4/1 to win outright, he looks good value to do so.
A successful £20 free bet on Ronaldo finishing as the tournament’s top scorer is set to return £100.
Of the other players still in the competition with two goals to their name, the chances of Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar of the Czech Republic appear slim given they face Portugal in the quarter-finals.
This leaves the Spain duo of Fernando Torres (21/4) and Cesc Fabregas (14/1), although with neither player having started all three games for their country at Euro 2012 and La Roja’s starting XI far from fixed, Gomez and Ronaldo look the better options.
Recommended bet: Ronaldo to be top scorer at Euro 2012 @ 4/1
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