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The Thrilling Race For The PL Golden Boot As Vardy Leads The Way

The race for the Premier League Golden Boot looks set to be every bit as tight as last year as we enter the season’s final stretch.
The thrilling race for the PL Golden Boot as Vardy leads the way

Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, plus Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, all scored 22 goals in an unusual three-way tie.
But who will succeed them as the top flight’s top scorer? Sportsmail runs through the candidates and their chances.
1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
17 goals, 118 minutes per goal; Doubles – 3; Hat-tricks – 1
Vardy still hasn’t won the Premier League Golden Boot. Even in Leicester’s amazing title-winning campaign of 2015-16, Vardy finished second to Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
The former England frontman looked as though he would streak away would the accolade earlier in the season when he scored in eight consecutive matches during Leicester’s brilliant winning run in the autumn.
But since that sequence came to an end, Vardy has scored just the once with an injury and lack of form affecting him and allowing Golden Boot rivals to catch up.
It looks almost certain that Vardy and Leicester will be back in the Champions League next season, but the striker remains adamant he won’t come out of England retirement for Euro 2020.
But there is something faintly ludicrous about an Englishman finishing as the Premier League’s top scorer and then not representing their country at a major tournament the following summer.
2. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
16 goals, 73 minutes per goal; Doubles – 3, Hat-tricks – 1
Despite being one of the all-time Premier League strikers, Aguero has only won the one Golden Boot, back in the 2014-15 campaign.
With Vardy stalling a little, Aguero now has a great chance to overtake him despite City’s chances of the title long since ending.
He’s certainly in better form than Vardy, having scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa and a double against Crystal Palace in recent weeks, as well as the winner at Sheffield United.
The 31-year-old has the best minutes per goal return of anyone in this race though it remains to be seen if City’s intense fixture schedule until the end of the season takes its toll.
3= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
14 goals, 135 minutes per goal; Doubles – 2, Hat-tricks – 0
Salah is well in the hunt to make it a hat-trick of Golden Boots having shared the prize last season and won it outright the season before.
Liverpool are romping away with the title, ending a 30 year wait, and the Egyptian has certainly played his part with 14 goals and counting.
Salah’s goals are spread pretty evenly throughout the season and his form has been consistently good.
Jurgen Klopp’s team are showing no signs of slowing down as they rewrite all the Premier League records and Salah is bound to add to his current tally considerably.
3= Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
14 goals, 134 minutes per goal; Doubles – 3, Hat-tricks – 0
There was every chance that Rashford was going to end the season with the Golden Boot, even if Manchester United failed to win anything or finish in the top four.
The England international had found some of the best form of his young career and was pretty much carrying Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team by himself.
But Rashford has suffered a serious back injury that looks likely to sidelined him for much of the remainder of the season.
He may not now add to the 14 Premier League goals he’d already scored but the nations hopes he’ll be fit and firing again for Euro 2020.
3= Danny Ings (Southampton)
14 goals, 123 minutes per goal; Doubles – 1, Hat-tricks – 0
A name plenty of pundits wouldn’t have expected to appear so high up on the top scorers’ leaderboard, especially given how Southampton looked relegation certainties for a long time.
But Ings, having struggled with injuries at Liverpool, is now showing everyone exactly what he can do with 14 in the Premier League so far this season.
The 27-year-old was excellent in November and December, scoring in five consecutive league games though he’s now gone three without scoring.
With Southampton’s ailing season transformed as a result, Ings is even playing himself into contention to add to his one and only England cap.
3= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
14 goals, 145 minutes per goal; Doubles – 2, Hat-tricks – 0
It’s been a pretty mediocre season for Arsenal, who are languishing in mid-table, but goodness knows where they’d be without the goals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Carrying on his Golden Boot-winning form from last season, Auba has scored 14 of their 32 Premier League goals this season, considerably more than any of their other players.
He was in a rich vein of scoring form at the very start of the season and Arsenal’s captain had picked up again after Mikel Arteta was appointed, at least prior to a suspension.
Aubameyang is certainly a reliable scorer and though Arsenal shouldn’t rely on him so much, he has every chance of winning another Golden Boot this season.
7. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
13 goals, 148 minutes per goal; Doubles – 2, Hat-tricks – 3
With Frank Lampard forced to rely more on homegrown players amid a transfer embargo, striker Abraham rose to the challenge with seven goals in Chelsea opening five league games.
He has added to that total regularly as the season has progressed, being used by Lampard significantly more than any of the club’s other strikers.
Abraham has struggled with an ankle knock in recent games and hasn’t netted in his last three to remain stuck on 13.
However, once he recovers full fitness, there’s no doubt he’ll add to his tally as he pushes on towards representing England at the Euros.
The outsiders
There are six players currently on 11 goals with an outside hope of catching Vardy at the top of the charts.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Teemu Pukki (Norwich), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) are all in this cluster.

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