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Champions League Top Scorer Betting: Which players are in-form ahead of the last 16?

Champions League Top Scorer Betting: Ronaldo is 8/1 in the market
Champions League Top Scorer Betting: Ronaldo is 8/1 in the market

At long last! Tonight the Champions League returns, and just in time. With the constant bombardment of Premier League football, there has definitely been a slight drop in quality in the top-flight so a refreshing change of competition comes as extremely welcome news. 

With just 16 teams left in Europe’s most prestigious knockout tournament, the race to be crowned kings of the continent is now reaching its business end. However, that is not the only enthralling prize up for grabs. 

On a more personal level, there is still the small matter of which player will win the UCL Golden Boot award in the coming months. As always at this stage, the front-runners have broken away from the chasing pack and realistically the contest is now between just a small number of Europe’s elite. 

Dortmund’s destroyer leads the betting

Borussia Dortmund wonder-kid Erling Haaland currently leads the way in the market. The 20-year-old marksman has been deadlier than ever this time out, notching six goals in only four European outings - a return which makes him favourite at 4/1. 

The Norwegian prodigy is replicating his form in the Bundesliga, too, third behind Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski (25 goals) and Frankfurt’s Andre Silva (18 goals) in the division’s top-scorer chart with 15 goals to his name in 16 outings, while he has notched a further two in the DFB Pokal.   

Haaland enters Wednesday’s first-leg round of 16 tie against Sevilla brimming with confidence and bearing the brunt of Dortmund’s goalscoring responsibilities. It is a task that he has in the past proven to be up to, though, and with a three-goal cushion on second-favourite in the market, the free-scoring Lewandowski, you have to feel confident in his ability to drive BVB further towards this season’s finale. 

Ucl Top Scorer Creative
Champions League top scorer betting

Lewandowski’s name always in the frame

It is, however, worth noting that Lewandowski is not to be underestimated. Bayern’s goal-addicted freak of nature may currently be three goals behind Haaland heading into the last-16 but as we have seen countless times in this competition’s history - and indeed from his exploits in the Bundesliga - this could all change during one game should the Pole be in the mood for it. 

The 32-year-old laid claim to his first UCL Golden Boot award as Bayern stormed their way to the Champions League title in 2019-20, scoring 15 goals, and this time out he has notched three in just four outings for the Bavarian heavy-hitters. 

While this tally ranks him third in the chart behind the aforementioned Haaland and Mr. Champions League himself, Cristiano Ronaldo, it is Lewandowski’s domestic form which acts as the biggest telltale sign that he will hit the ground running in this competition during the coming months. 

25 goals in 20 appearances in the German top-flight is a return which, however impressive to the eye, is now deemed as normality for the Eastern European, who is just two goals shy of hitting 70 career Champions League goals.

Lewandowski is currently 5/1 second-favourite in the race for the Golden Boot, a price which to me offers some good value given his pedigree in the competition and the fact that Bayern - presented with a very winnable fixture against Lazio in the last-16 - are still the team to beat for the aspiring champions left in the tournament.

Mr. Champions League

But then you remember that Cristiano Ronaldo is still about, in his truest goalscoring form and hot on the heels of Haaland with four goals in his four UCL appearances this season. The Portugese, now well into his thirties but still performing like a 25-year-old at the height of his career, can be found at 8/1 to clinch the Golden Boot, making him third-favourite in the market. 

Like Bayern, Juventus have a last-16 tie which they will view as totally winnable, against an out-of-sorts Porto side who currently sit 10 points off top-spot in the Portuguese first division. 

With an astonishing 19 goals in 22 domestic appearances for Juve this term, Ronaldo - the Champions League’s all-time record goalscorer - carries a huge deal of momentum into the last-16 and has every chance of seizing the gap against his countrymen across the forthcoming two legs. But should he find the net either once, twice or even three times during those two games then his price will be slashed considerably. It could prove to be a case of getting it before it’s gone.

Leo an each-way play, Morata not to be discounted

You cannot mention Ronaldo without talking about Messi. Vice Versa. Barcelona’s majestic No.10 may have endured a slow start to the campaign but he has since made up for it. Without a Champions League win since 2015, Barcelona will be chomping at the bit to right their wrongdoings in Europe this time out and if they are to stand any chance of winning the tournament, Messi will have to be firing on all cylinders. 

Currently a 14/1 outsider in the betting, the Argentine playmaker could be viewed as a value play, even at each-way odds, ahead of the last-16 kicking off. Messi is just three goals behind Haaland at the time of writing but faces a stern test in the next round as Barca face last season’s finalists Paris-Saint Germain. 

Champions League betting

Indeed, the 33-year-old heads into the game with the wind firmly in his sails following yet another wonder-strike during the Catalonians’ 5-1 demolition job on Alaves at the weekend - the South American’s 11th goal in his last eight league outings. 

One player I am yet to mention is Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard is actually level on goals with Haaland (6) at this stage but is still a 10/1 shot in the market. 

This could be because Atletico face a tricky test against Thomas Tuchel’s invigorated Chelsea in the last-16 and the fact that, although Atleti are deservingly top of La Liga and have performed really well in the UCL this season, their game-plan under Diego Simeone will always be tailored towards defending first and attacking second - something which will only be accentuated now that the knockout phase has been introduced and a more tactical approach is required, in turn potentially hindering Morata’s chances of adding to his haul.

Best of the rest

Elsewhere, PSG’s Neymar (9/1) is, like Haaland and Morata, also on six goals but the Brazilian will yet again miss a crucial knockout game for the Parisians in Europe due to injury, which deals a gargantuan blow to his chances in this market and, to me, rules him out of the conversation. 

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has three goals for his efforts so far and is a 20/1 shot, while Real Madrid stalwart Karim Benzema - who has bagged four goals in this season’s renewal - is a 25/1 outsider at this stage.

Both could be good options if you’re looking to lay a bit of a higher stake on an each-way selection, but if you’re looking for an on the nose shout, my money would be on Ronaldo at 8/1 with bet365.

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