P. J. Go | Sun 10/06/2018 - 12:46 EDT

World Cup Top Goal-Scorers Contenders and Dark Horses

World Cup Top Goal-Scorers Contenders and Dark Horses
FIFA World Cup 2018 will feature the most stacked group of stars led by Argentina's Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. They're two favourites to win the Golden Boot - most goals scored in the tournament. But neither has won thanks to all the great players competing with them. We look at five other players, three contenders and two dark horses, who could win it this year.

Who Will Win The World Cup 2018 Golden Boot?

Over 300 goals were scored last World Cup for an average of 2.7 per game over 112 games. James Rodriguez scored six, Thomas Muller scored five, and eight others scored three goals or more. With all the scoring, it's hard to stand out but James and Muller did. 

We look at the five best bets to lead the World Cup in scoring complete with betting odds. All odds courtesy of Sports Interaction.

Neymar Jr. (+900)
  • Odds to be Top Goal Scorer: +900
  • Odds to win Player of the Tournament: +680

Tied with Messi as the odds-on favourite, Neymar Jr. is a "safer" bet as Brazil has an easier path to the Finals and he has less competition on the squad for goal-scoring duties. The 26-year-old talisman was injured during the last World Cup and watched helplessly as his team was embarrassed by the Germans.

Neymar Jr. is still shaking off the cobwebs but has scored six goals in his last 12 games with the team. Thanks to a change in coaching, the Brazilians now have a more fluid style of play that benefits Neymar's versatile abilities. This won't be the same sluggish Brazilians from 2014.

Brazil is the favourite (+408) win the tournament and Neymar Jr. will be leading the charge. If they make it all the way, he has seven apps to produce six goals, which is usually good enough to lead the tournament.

Antoine Griezmann (+1100)
  • Odds to be Top Goal Scorer: +1100
  • Odds to win Player of the Tournament: +1400

The French forward broke out in a big way in 2016 by leading Euro 2016 with six goals and scoring eight in total in 15 apps. This included a pair of goals against Germany as the home team made it all the way to the Finals. They're among the favourites (+565) to win the World Cup and should at least make it deep.

France boasts a squad filled with prolific scorers. Joining Griezmann is Paris star forward Kylian Mbappe and Premier League assassin Olivier Giroud. The colourful Paul Pogba will also be a threat from the midfield. But Griezmann will be the team's primary triggerman.   

Griezmann may not have the technical prowess of a Messi or Ronaldo but his incredible work-rate and ability to be effective from almost any position: on the attack, set-pieces, or penalties, makes him a solid bet to be among the tournament's top goal-scorers.

Romelu Lukaku (+1600)
  • Odds to be Top Goal Scorer: +1600
  • Odds to win Player of the Tournament: +300

Belgium (+1100) has graduated from a dark horse to a legitimate cup contender and Lukaku is a huge reason why. Along with fellow stars Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, Lukaku leads a Belgian outfit that will be scoring a lot of goals, especially in a relatively soft group.

Lukaku has been scoring goals at an alarming rate. He already has 34 goals in just 68 apps and he's only just 25. This includes 11 goals in 10 caps during the qualifiers and multiple-goal games against Mexico and Saudi Arabia during the friendlies. 

The Belgians are poised to make at least the quarterfinals barring any upsets and that's more than enough games for Lukaku to score five goals, good enough to at least tie for the lead. Hazard (+3800) will also be a goal-scoring threat but with their current 3-4-2-1 formation, Lukaku is the more likely scorer.

James Rodriguez (+6100)
  • Odds to be Top Goal Scorer: +6100
  • Odds to win Player of the Tournament: +4700

Last tournament's Golden Boot winner is a relative longshot simply for the fact no leading scorer has repeated in World Cup history although players like Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose managed to score the exact same amount in consecutive tournaments.

James took home the Boot in 2014 with six goals and could've scored more if Colombia made it further than the quarters. They could repeat their finish from that period and are in a group with no elite defensive teams. James's biggest challenger is his own teammate, Radamel Falcao (+4600).

The 26-year-old struggled to make an impact with Real Madrid but is killing it with Bayern Munich. In his last 22 international apps, he's scored eight goals and hasn't scored in 2018 though Falcao has four goals in just seven apps dating back to 2017. But if it's a coin flip between both, take James at a better payout.

Marco Reus (+6300)
  • Odds to be Top Goal Scorer: +6300
  • Odds to win Player of the Tournament: +7700

For four consecutive World Cups, a German has finished in the top three in goal-scoring thanks to Germany finishing no worst than third-place since 2002. Die Mannschaft scores at a consistent pace and Thomas Muller (+2800) is the favourite German to lead the tourney in scoring but forgotten son Reus is a sleeper.

Reus will be making his World Cup debut after being injured in the last two. His selection came with much controversy as it came at the expense of Leroy Sane. Reus hasn't scored an international goal since March 2015 and has only made three apps in the last three years.

It's unclear if Reus even starts for Germany's 4-2-3-1 lineup but if the team struggles to score early, they could switch things up and Reus could be beneficiary.

One thing the World Cup promises is unexpected heroes and the controversial Reus could rise on the biggest stage and be the top goal-scorer for the Germans, who are favourites (+409) to repeat.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Broadcast in Canada

Most fans who watch the World Cup don't know a lot about soccer but they know enough to follow the biggest stars and goal-scoring heroes. Canadian coverage is on CTV, RDS, and TSN. Similarly, online sportsbooks serve Canadians looking to bet by offering 24-7 service.

Date Broadcast Start Time (ET) Network
Thursday, June 14 Russia vs. Saudi Arabia 10am TSN/CTV
Thursday, June 14 Highlight Show 1:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 14 Match Of The Day 11pm TSN2
Friday, June 15 Egypt vs. Uruguay 7am TSN
Friday, June 15 Morocco vs. Iran 10:30am TSN
Friday, June 15 Portugal vs. Spain 1:30pm TSN
Friday, June 15 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Friday, June 15 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN2
Saturday, June 16 France vs. Australia 5:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Argentina vs. Iceland 8:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Peru vs. Denmark 11:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Croatia vs. Nigeria 2:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Highlight Show 5:30pm TSN
Saturday, June 16 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN2
Sunday, June 17 Costa Rica vs. Serbia 7am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 17 Germany vs. Mexico 10:30am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 17 Brazil vs. Switzerland 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 17 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Sunday, June 17 Match Of The Day 6pm TSN2
Monday, June 18 Sweden vs. Korea Republic 7am TSN
Monday, June 18 Belgium vs. Panama 10:30am TSN
Monday, June 18 Tunisia vs. England 1:30pm TSN
Monday, June 18 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Monday, June 18 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Colombia vs. Japan 7am TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Poland vs. Senegal 10:30am TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Russia vs. Egypt 1:30pm TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Match Of The Day 8:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Portugal vs. Morocco 7am TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia 10:30am TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Iran vs. Spain 1:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Thursday, June 21 Denmark vs. Australia 7am TSN
Thursday, June 21 France vs. Peru 10:30am TSN
Thursday, June 21 Argentina vs. Croatia 1:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 21 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 21 Match Of The Day 11:30pm TSN
Friday, June 22 Brazil vs. Costa Rica 7am TSN
Friday, June 22 Nigeria vs. Iceland 10:30am TSN
Friday, June 22 Serbia vs. Switerland 1:30pm TSN
Friday, June 22 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Friday, June 22 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Saturday, June 23 Belgium vs. Tunisia 7am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 23 Korea Republic vs. Mexico 10:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 23 Germany vs. Sweden 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 23 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Saturday, June 23 Match Of The Day 6pm TSN2
Sunday, June 24 England vs. Panama 7am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 24 Japan vs. Senegal 10:30am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 24 Poland vs. Colombia 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 24 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Sunday, June 24 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Monday, June 25 Uruguay vs. Russia 9:30am TSN
Monday, June 25 Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt 9:30am TSN2
Monday, June 25 Iran vs. Portugal 1:30pm TSN
Monday, June 25 Spain vs. Morocco 1:30pm TSN2
Monday, June 25 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Monday, June 25 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, June 26 Denmark vs. France 9:30am TSN
Tuesday, June 26 Australia vs. Peru 9:30am TSN2
Tuesday, June 26 Nigeria vs. Argentina 1:30pm TSN
Tuesday, June 26 Iceland vs. Croatia 1:30pm TSN2
Tuesday, June 26 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Tuesday, June 26 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Wednesday, June 27 Korea Republic vs. Germany 9:30am TSN
Wednesday, June 27 Mexico vs. Sweden 9:30am TSN2
Wednesday, June 27 Serbia vs. Brazil 1:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 27 Switzerland vs. Costa Rica 1:30pm TSN2
Wednesday, June 27 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Wednesday, June 27 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Thursday, June 28 Senegal vs. Colombia 9:30am TSN
Thursday, June 28 Japan vs. Poland 9:30am TSN2
Thursday, June 28 England vs. Belgium 1:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 28 Panama vs. Tunisia 1:30pm TSN2
Thursday, June 28 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Thursday, June 28 Match Of The Day 11:30pm TSN2
Saturday, June 30 1C vs. 2D 9:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 30 1A vs. 2B 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 30 Highlight Show 11:30pm TSN2
Sunday July 1 Match Of The Day Midnight TSN2
Sunday, July 1 1B vs. 2A 9:30am TSN/CTV
Sunday, July 1 1D vs. 2C 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Sunday, July 1 Highlight Show 9pm TSN
Sunday, July 1 Match Of The Day 9:30pm TSN
Monday, July 2 1E vs. 2F 9:30am TSN
Monday, July 2 1G vs. 2H 1:30pm TSN
Monday, July 2 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Monday, July 2 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, July 3 1F vs. 2E 9:30am TSN
Tuesday, July 3 1H vs. 2G 1:30pm TSN
Tuesday, July 3 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Tuesday, July 3 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Wednesday, July 4 Match Of The Day 3pm TSN
Wednesday, July 4 Match Of The Day 10pm TSN
Thursday, July 5 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN2
Friday, July 6 Quarterfinal 1 9:30am TSN
Friday, July 6 Quarterfinal #2 1:30pm TSN
Friday, July 6 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Friday, July 6 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Saturday, July 7 Quarterfinal 3 9:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, July 7 Quarterfinal 4 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, July 7 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Saturday, July 7 Match Of The Day 5pm TSN2
Sunday, July 8  Match Of The Day 4pm TSN
Sunday, July 8  Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Monday, July 9 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, July 10 Semifinal 1 1pm TSN/CTV
Tuesday, July 10 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Tuesday, July 10 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Wednesday, July 11 Semifinal 2 1pm TSN/CTV
Wednesday, July 11 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Wednesday, July 11 Match Of The Day 9:30pm TSN
Thursday, July 12 Match Of The Day 3pm TSN
Friday, July 13 Match Of The Day 3pm TSN
Saturday, July 14 3rd Place Match 9:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, July 14 Highlight Show 12:30pm TSN
Saturday, July 14 Match Of The Day 4pm TSN
Sunday, July 15 Final 10am TSN/CTV
Sunday, July 15 Highlight Show 2pm TSN
Sunday, July 15 Match Of The Day 7:30pm TSN

Category : Soccer

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