Serie A arguably has the strongest collection of strikers in the European game with previous Capocannoniere’s Gonzalo Higuain, Ciro Immobile and Mauro Icardi all vying with Cristiano Ronaldo for the title of top marksman in the division.
Last time: Icardi and Immobile shared the honour in the previous campaign with 29 goals each.
Serie A Top Scorer Predictions and Preview
Following his blockbuster summer arrival from Spanish giants Real Madrid, Ronaldo was instantly installed as the whopping 2/5 favourite to finish as top scorer in Italy. Despite his advancing years, the 33-year-old superstar is showing no signs of slowing down and only trails Krzysztof Piatek by one strike in the standings. After Higuain’s acrimonious departure to Milan, the general expectation was Max Allegri would use the Portuguese through the middle, but the form Mario Mandzukic, coupled with Ronaldo’s clear desire to play out wide, suggests it won’t be a formality as expected.
The Sporting Lisbon youth graduate’s assist haul of five is only bettered by Suso and Ronaldo is visibly enjoying his role as a provider. Nevertheless, the five-time Champions League winner has yet to miss a single minute of league action and is guaranteed to be there or thereabouts at the business end of the campaign.
Inter talisman Icardi is understandably a popular choice and is priced at an extremely attractive 11/1. The Argentine is a 30-goal a season striker and deserves to be mentioned alongside the very best on the continent when considering his numbers over the last four seasons. In terms of pure strikers in Italy, Icardi is perhaps the best in the business and invariably makes his mark provided the supply line is there.
Italy forward Ciro Immobile will fancy his chances. For all his detractors on the international scene, the Lazio man is adored in the capital and can’t be ignored in the race for the golden boot. Immobile is not blessed with the same ability as Icardi, but a haul of 60 efforts from his last 80 league appearances suggests his 8/1 odds should be given more consideration.
Higuain is an intriguing option. The Juventus record buy was forced out the door to the Rossoneri and has a point to prove to his former employees. Milan have lacked a goalscorer in the mould of Higuain since the days of Andriy Shevchenko and his 25/1 odds represent real value. The three-time La Liga winner has five strikes to his name and is undeniably a top tier striker who, for his flaws, should aim for 20+.
Current top scorer Piatek is 10/1 but with more goals comes more scrutiny and opposing defenders are paying an increasingly watchful eye on the young Pole. With club side Genoa struggling, it would be a surprise to see Piatek still battling it out with Icardi, Ronaldo and Immobile in May but he is certainly one for the future.
Veteran forward Mario Mandzukic can’t be discounted in the race. The Croatian has performed superbly as Ronaldo’s foil, much in the same vein as Karim Benzema, but is also finding the back of the net more frequently in comparison to previous seasons. At 50/1, he is worth keeping an eye on while colleague Paulo Dybala is a distant 100/1.
Long shot: Under the tutelage of the legendary Carlo Ancelotti, Dries Mertens continues to demonstrate his worth in a false nine position. The diminutive Belgian has bagged on seven occasions and would be higher placed if it wasn’t for Ancelotti’s rotation policy. At 18/1, Mertens is a solid contender.