Three players lead Golden Boot race
BestOfBets gives an updated look at the running for the 2022 World Cup Golden Boot, as the tournament heads into the semi-finals in Qatar…
Kylian Mbappe – five goals (1/2)
The French forward remains the big bookies’ favourite to win the Golden Boot prize that he was beaten to by Harry Kane at Russia 2018. He failed to add to his tally against England in that nail-biting quarter-final, kept impressively quiet by Kyle Walker, as other French teammates took centre stage instead. Mbappe is still a goal ahead of his main top-scoring competitors, although he may find it difficult to breach a Morocco defence that has kept four clean sheets in five goals this tournament.
Lionel Messi – four goals (11/4)
Messi’s odds have shortened from 14/1 to 11/4 for the Golden Boot, by virtue of the fact he scored a penalty in Argentina’s win over the Netherlands and simply because many other candidates (Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Cody Gakpo, Richarlison) have exited the tournament. All of Argentina’s hopes are pinned on the veteran playmaker; don’t be surprised if he makes another telling goal contribution in their semi-final against Croatia.
Olivier Giroud – four goals (6/1)
Giroud has proven throughout his career that it’s foolish to write him off. He played an integral part in France’s journey to World Cup glory four years ago without even bagging a goal and few predicted he would play such an important role in Qatar this time. But here we are, a Karim Benzema injury and four Giroud goals later, and the former Chelsea and Arsenal striker may have more up his sleeve. The Golden Boot could be within his grasp at the age of 36.
Others – 50/1 or more
If you fancy a long shot bet on the Golden Boot, your options are fairly limited. The only other candidates whose teams are still in the tournament are Argentina’s Julian Alvarez (best price 50/1), Morocco’s quarter-final hero Youssef En-Nesyri (70/1) and Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric (100/1). The problem is they only have two goals apiece and are lagging behind some seriously good attacking players.
Our prediction: Mbappe to win the Golden Boot