Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Neymar (Brazil) are big candidates to be World Cup top scorers, but for those looking for value in the betting market, here’s our five to consider…
Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
In tandem with another top goalscorer fancy, Edinson Cavani, the 31-goal Barcelona man will be going into his third tournament without the spectre of injury, which posed a problem four years ago before an infamous biting incident curtailed his involvement in Brazil. Paired in one of the weaker groups alongside Egypt and the hosts Russia, the 31-year-old will likely win his 100th international cap in the second group match, against the third side in the pool, Saudi Arabia – what price he celebrates in style…
Despite the shock dismissal of Real Madrid-bound Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament, the attacking midfielder is more than capable of overcoming any coaching disruption to find the target in a group that contains, as well as Ronaldo’s Portugal, Morocco and Iran. Indeed, having already hit an international hat-trick this year, against Argentina, stronger opposition will be wary of the 26-year-old who hit nine goals for Real in 2017/18.
Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
The young Manchester City forward should be firing and refreshed after missing parts of 2017/18 with injury – although he still managed to contribute 13 league goals in his club’s title success. Now fully recovered and with Brazil sure to go deep into the tournament, he should get plenty of opportunities in a side who can also call on the creative prompting from the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Willian.
Radamel Falcao (Colombia)
Missed out in 2014 through serious injury – indeed, the Monaco man almost scuppered his career by rushing back too soon to be fit for that tournament – the 32-year-old will be aiming to make up for lost time. With James Rodriguez pulling the strings behind him, the player who hit 24 for his club last term will be sure to fancy his chances in a group containing Poland, Senegal and Japan.
Mario Mandzukic (Croatia)
Only Davor Suker has scored more goals for Croatia and despite only scoring five times for Juventus as they secured a seventh successive Serie A title in 2017/18, the striker is the focal point for a nation blessed with some impressive creative talent in midfield. One other reason for the 32-year-old to impress? His club look set to offload him so should be impress against defensively suspect trio Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria there are sure to be suitors lined up to take him from Italy.