EPL Golden Boot Odds: Can Anyone Stop Erling Haaland From Winning It Again?
The English Premier League's Golden Boot award, given to the league's top goalscorer, is one of the most prestigious awards in soccer.
Last year's winner -- Erling Haaland -- won the Golden Boot in his first season in the EPL. Haaland's 36 goals broke the single-season record of 34 goals, which was set by Andy Cole in 1993-94 and Alan Shearer in 1994-95.
Haaland's 36 goals in 35 games also made him the first player to win the award while averaging more than a goal per match. It was a historic season and possibly the greatest debut campaign ever in the EPL.
Looking ahead to the 2023-24 EPL season, which begins on Friday, August 11th, can anyone stop Haaland from winning back-to-back Golden Boots?
Let's break down the EPL Golden Boot odds at FanDuel Sportsbook and take a look at some of the top options. Here are the top five by odds:
2023-24 EPL Golden Boot Odds
Erling Haaland, F, Manchester City (-140)
The short answer to the title question is no -- it is unlikely that anyone can stop Haaland from winning consecutive Golden Boots. And when you see him score goals like this, it's easy to understand why.
He is a heavy favorite to win the award, and the only player that came close to defeating him last year, Tottenham's Harry Kane, might be joining Bayern Munich.
The gap between Haaland and Kane last season was six goals. The gap between Haaland and anyone other than Kane was 16 goals. Even if Haaland regresses after his historic season, the rest of the Premier League has a long way to go before they are in the same stratosphere as the Manchester City star, especially if Kane leaves Spurs.
Haaland scored 36 goals from 28.4 expected goals (xG) last season, per FBRef. Even if you remove penalties from the equation, he would have finished with 29 goals on 23.1 xG, which would have left him above everyone but Kane.
After winning the treble last season, Manchester City have had a relatively quiet summer transfer window. Their two key departures have been midfielder Ilkay Gündogan joining Barcelona and Riyad Mahrez joining Al-Ahli. City brought in midfield Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and are reportedly in the final stages of acquiring defender Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.
The result is a City team that is expected to remain at the top of the Premier League. They are the current favorites to win the title (-160), and Haaland should once again be the focal point of one of the best -- if not the best -- teams in the world.
As it stands, it's Haaland's world, and we're all just living in it.
Harry Kane, F, Tottenham (+750)
Assuming Kane chooses to stay at Tottenham, he has the best chance of knocking Haaland off the throne. Kane has been a prolific goal-scorer for nine seasons in a row, averaging 23.3 goals per season in that span. His 30 goals last year were a large overperformance on his 21.5 xG, and the 30-goal tally represented his highest total since he scored 30 in 2017-18.
Kane is no stranger to the Golden Boot, winning it three times, most recently in 2020-21. In many ways, the arrival of Haaland as Kane turns 30 years old and nears the end of his prime feels like a changing of a guard. Whether due to age or due to Kane's contract expiring, this season may be Kane's final chance to chase down Haaland and secure his record-tying fourth Golden Boot.
As good as Kane is, the largest disadvantage he faces compared to the other strikers on this list is the quality of his team. Tottenham have the seventh-best odds (+3400) to win the Premier League next season. Spurs finished in eighth place last year and have finished higher than third just once in Kane's career. Being the focal point of Tottenham's attack simply isn't as valuable as being the focal point of Manchester City's attack.
Still, if Haaland does regress or is injured, Kane is one of two players -- alongside Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, who we will get to in a second -- who would be favored to win the Golden Boot simply by doing what they have been doing in recent seasons.
Mohamed Salah, F, Liverpool (+1000)
Salah's odds could improve if Kane does ultimately end up moving to Bayern Munich, but the Liverpool star is capable of winning the Golden Boot even if Kane stays in the EPL.
Liverpool finished outside of the top four last season for the first time in Salah's career. It was just one of those seasons for the Reds. Despite that, Salah finished with more xG (21.7) than Kane. The difference is Salah was far less efficient on his chances, finishing with 19 goals, his lowest total since 2019-20.
After a horrendous start to their 2022-23 campaign, Liverpool finished well, winning their last six EPL matches to land in fifth and end up with the third-most xG created (72.6). They've experienced a significant overhaul of their midfield this summer, but they have the third-best odds to win the league next season (+850). Most of Liverpool's issues last year were on defense and in midfield. Salah should have no team-level issues preventing him from challenging for this season's Golden Boot.
Darwin Nunez, F, Liverpool (+1800)
After joining Liverpool for a club-record fee last summer, Nunez's debut campaign got off to a fast start, with a goal and an assist in his first match.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, Nunez slowed down after that and finished the season with just nine goals from 12.1 xG. It wasn't a terrible season, but it wasn't the impact that many were hoping for from a club-record signing.
Despite that, Nunez has the fourth-best odds to win the Golden Boot this season, tied with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford. His positive outlook stems from the fact that Nunez's primary issue last season was playing time. He started just 19 games and made only 29 appearances, averaging just 58.4 minutes played per appearance.
On a per-90-minute basis, his stats look much better. Nunez ranked first in the league in shots per 90 (4.46) and shots on target per 90 (1.86), fourth in xG per 90 (0.64), and third in non-penalty xG per 90 (0.64). Even with a full complement of minutes, those metrics wouldn't have been enough to challenge Haaland last season, but it would have moved Nunez above everyone else on this list.
With the Uruguayan entering his second season at Liverpool, it is a reasonable expectation that Nunez will see more minutes this campaign. If he does and if he maintains his efficiency from last season, he will be a force to be reckoned with. If he improves his efficiency, he has an outside chance of challenging Haaland.
Nunez's largest obstacle is Salah's role as the primary penalty taker for Liverpool. In a Golden Boot race, every single goal counts, and all of Salah, Kane, and Haaland have an advantage over Nunez on penalties.
Marcus Rashford, F, Manchester United (+1800)
Rashford had a resurgent season in 2022-23, finishing with 17 goals from 15.4 xG along with his best per-90-minute metrics since the 2019-20 season. Heading into this campaign, Rashford and Manchester United appear to be back on track and headed in the right direction.
Rashford's bounce-back season was excellent, but to challenge Haaland, he still has a long way to go. Unlike Nunez, Rashford was a full-time player last season, averaging 82.3 minutes played per match with 32 starts and 35 appearances. He finished behind Nunez on shots per 90 (3.38), shots on target per 90 (1.53), and non-penalty xG per 90 (.48). He still ranked inside the top six in the league in each of these stats, but by xG per 90 (0.48), he finished outside the top ten.
For Rashford to win the Golden Boot, he needs to do more with the minutes he's expected to see, especially since captain Bruno Fernandes is United's primary penalty taker. To do that, Rashford needs Manchester United to be a better offensive side. Last season, United tied for seventh in goals (58) and sixth in xG (67.7).
The good news for Rashford is there are reasons to believe United can be just that. The club have had a solid transfer window -- bringing in midfielder Mason Mount, goalkeeper Andre Onana, and forward Rasmus Højlund. This campaign will be United's second in Erik ten Hag's system, and he won't have to spend it undoing the mistakes of his predecessors. If United takes the next step, with Rashford at the center of an improved side, he can be there to challenge for the Golden Boot if Haaland regresses.
Gabriel Jesus, F, Arsenal (+2300)
Alexander Isak, F, Newcastle (+2400)
Christopher Nkunku , MF/F, Chelsea (+2900)
Evan Ferguson, F, Brighton (+3400)
Ollie Watkins, F, Aston Villa (+3400)
Julian Alvarez, F, Manchester City (+4400)
Cody Gakpo, F, Liverpool (+4400)
Nicolas Jackson, F, Chelsea (+4400)
Bukayo Saka, MF/F, Arsenal (+5000)
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