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Race for the Golden Boot getting serious

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring his third and his sides fourth goal during the Premier League match between Everton and AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park on February 4, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The Premier League campaign is past halfway and it’s becoming clear who is going to win and who is nailed on to be playing in the Championship next season.

Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City and Arsenal are all in with a shout depending on the next four months and it looks to be an exciting title race again despite Chelsea sitting nine points clear in early February.

At the other end of the table, Hull City, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Swansea, Middlesbrough and incredibly last season’s champions Leicester are all hovering around the relegation spots, with only two points separating the bottom six teams.

Even though anything could happen at this stage, the picture is different when looking at the top performers and it looks like the usual suspects will be in the spotlight when it comes to the golden boot award at the end of the season. The current ten players who are leading the goal-scoring table are all either established strikers or attacking midfielders and it doesn’t look like there will be many outsiders challenging for Harry Kane’s title (and matching phone cover) in the 2015-16 season. We’ll be taking a look at the likely contenders who will be there or thereabouts on Sunday the 21st of May.

Diego Costa

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Antonio Conte, manager of Chelsea shakes hands with Diego Costa of Chelsea after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on February 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Costa is currently sitting in joint-second with 15 goals and looks like he could be the favourite for the golden boot based on his previous pedigree. The Spaniard scored 20 in the 2014-15 season and 12 times last term and with 15 in the bag at the halfway point, he could be in for his best season yet if he picks up his recent below-average performances.

Alexis Sanchez

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal battes for the ball with Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on February 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Sanchez is one of the world’s best at the moment and is drawing a lot of interest on the international scene. He looks dangerous anywhere on the pitch and has taken almost every opportunity given to him to score goals and also provide some magical assists. Playing from the wing, he too has 15 goals so far and looks like he could easily be in in the mix at the end of the season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United goes to ground after a challenge by Tom Huddlestone of Hull City during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on February 1, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The enigmatic Swede causes chaos wherever he goes. Brought into the Manchester United squad at the ripe age of 34, many feared Ibrahimovic would be enjoying his twilight years in the Premier League with some substitute appearances or in a squad rotation role. However, the complete opposite is true. He has played in almost every game and has terrified defences with his signature aggressive, flamboyant style. With 15 goals and the energy of a 16 year-old, this wily old warhorse still has loads of goals in him and will definitely be up there at crunch time.

Romelu Lukaku

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring his third and his sides fourth goal during the Premier League match between Everton and AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park on February 4, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

It is difficult to tell if Lukaku is biding his time with Everton before being offered a chance with a huge club, but he isn’t sitting back waiting for things to happen. He has failed to score under ten in his last four seasons and netted 18 times and 12 times over the last two seasons respectively, so it’s no surprise that after his four-goal showing against Bournemouth this past weekend that he’s currently sitting pretty at the top with 16 goals. Expect a high profile move at the end of the season for this promising young Belgian.

Harry Kane

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane on February 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

One of England’s brightest young players at the moment, Kane came into the season of the back off an incredible two previous seasons, picking up the golden boot last year with 25 goals and finishing second in 2014-15 with 21. He’s already on 14 this season despite some injury setbacks and relaxed form. Expect a big second half of the season that may make Kane something of a dark horse for this year’s title.

Notable also mentions must also go to Sergio Aguero, who has the ability to create goals from nowhere and, incredibly, Jermaine Defoe who is still causing havoc for defenders despite Sunderland having a torrid time in the league this year. Either player could sneak it, as long as their colleagues can step up to the plate in their remaining games. Based on performances so far and previous form, it looks like it will be either Costa or Sanchez, the current favourites, who could be taking home the trophy.

About Dave O'Regan

Dave is Head of Multimedia at Pundit Arena, producing podcasts, broadcasts and leading the graphic design team. A proud member of Satellite Taxis FC, he acquires injuries at an alarming rate. Like most people his age, Dave is 29.

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