The Champions League action returns once again this week and the groups are starting to take shape. Here are the five favourites with the bookies to finish as the top goalscorer in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, Juventus, 17/1
It seems odd that Ronaldo, the tournament’s top-scorer for six seasons running, is just the fifth favourite, but the Portuguese forward remains goalless in Europe since joining Juventus in the summer.
Sent off on matchday one, Ronaldo missed the win over Young Boys before returning against former club Manchester United at Old Trafford. Despite already trailing the tournaments top scorers by five, few would be surprised to see the Champions League’s record goal-scorer finish top again in a Juventus side looking for their first title since 1996.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s teammate Paulo Dybala can be backed at the same odds, after the Argentine forward stepped up in his illustrious teammate’s absence, scoring four goals so far, including a hat-trick against Young Boys.
Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich – 15/1
Two goals so far for the Bayern Munich centre-forward, but the Pole is a proven goalscorer at Champions League level. The German champions have made an indifferent start to their league season but sit comfortably in Group E, tied with Ajax on seven points and four ahead of third-placed Benfica.
Bayern are always one of the most popular destinations for football punters looking to pick a Champions League winner, with the Bavarians currently fourth favourites to lift the European football’s most prestigious trophy for the first time since 2013, and an on-form Lewandowski would go a long way to achieving a lengthy run in the tournament.
However, the 30-year-old has failed to hit double figures in Europe since netting 10 whilst at Dortmund in their run to the final in 2012/13.
Edin Dzeko, Roma – 14/1
Currently the joint-leading scorer in the tournament, Roma’s giant Bosnian scored a hat-trick in the Italian’s thrashing of Viktoria Plzen before adding a brace in Roma’s third game against CSKA Moscow to take his tally for the season to five.
The capital club surprised everyone with a run to last season’s semi-finals, and will need similar success this season if their former Manchester City striker is to finish as the tournament’s top scorer.
Neymar, PSG – 11/1
The most expensive player in football history, Neymar was signed by PSG to lead their ambition of winning Europe’s premier tournament.
The Brazilian scored a hat-trick against Red Star Belgrade on matchday two, but with PSG currently sitting third in a difficult group also containing Liverpool and Napoli, the Parisians have their work cut out to advance to the knock-out stages.
The French champions will be hoping their star player can add to his three goals already as they bid for a maiden Champions League title.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona – 2/1
Widely regarded as the world’s greatest player, Barcelona’s mercurial Argentine continues to deliver on club football’s biggest stage.
Paired in a difficult looking group alongside Tottenham, Inter Milan and PSV, the Catalans have made light work of this stage so far having taken maximum points. Central to that success has been their captain Messi, the forward scoring a hat-trick in their opening fixture against PSV before adding two in their Wembley win over Spurs.
The Argentine already has netted five goals in the competition in just three outings and is the runaway favourite to be the top scorer next summer.