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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Chelsea hitman Alvaro Morata ready to top the scoring charts

Spaniard looks to be hitting peak fitness

The lively Alvaro Morata could be ready to make his mark
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If there is one market where those who backed the Racing Post's Premier League ante-post picks really need a fresh investment it is the top goalscorer market where the decision to risk a couple of big-priced outsiders has not gone well with Manolo Gabbiadini and Dwight Gayle way off the pace.

Harry Kane, the favourite before a ball was kicked, remains the market leader for a hat-trick of Golden Boot crowns but the 12-goal Tottenham man finds himself two behind the electric Mohamed Salah.

Anyone who dodged Salah at 66-1 in the summer, however, may not want to get overly excited about the current odds. It is been a magnificent campaign and he is the only contender going sub 100 minutes per goal, but the Liverpool winger has virtually all of the Premier League's big guns hunting him down.

No one is hotter on his trail than Kane, who is way out on his own at the top of the Premier League shooting stats, averaging 5.9 attempts per game, which is third-highest in Europe's elite leagues behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Kane plays every week, takes penalties and usually gets stronger as the season goes on, so he deserves to be considered the favourite.

There are many still with chances but Manchester City's trio of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling may continue to take goals off each other, while Romelu Lukaku could soon be a victim of squad rotation at Manchester United once Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fully fit.

There's no such competition at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea's Alvaro Morata, a 10-1 chance in the summer, may offer each-way value at a bigger price now with those firms who are still paying a quarter the odds the front three.

Blues boss Antonio Conte clearly does not fancy back-up Michy Batshuayi, so nine-goal Morata will have to shoulder the burden of responsibility and it's only right to expect the former Real Madrid and Juventus hitman to improve as the season progresses.

Morata has had to adjust to a new league and a few injury niggles have limited the Spanish international to only 1,189 minutes.

Many of those came when Eden Hazard was either injured or just returning from his broken ankle and the supply line to Morata should be more effective now Chelsea's main creative force is back to peak fitness.

A Morata top goalscorer
0.5pt each-way 14-1 Paddy Power

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Romelu Lukaku could soon be a victim of squad rotation at Manchester United once Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fully fit
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