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Is Romelu Lukaku a Shoo-in for the Golden Boot?

Romelu Lukaku proved to be a revelation when swapping Goodison Park for Old Trafford last summer, with the Belgian hitting a hot-streak of form in the colours of Manchester United. Having chosen a move forward to United over a step back to Chelsea, he tied up the 2017/18 Premier League campaign with 16 goals and seven assists.

That tally was bolstered by a strong finish to the season, with Lukaku hitting the net against Bournemouth, Swansea, Brighton and Crystal Palace since March. Many expected him to carry that eye for goal to the World Cup in Russia but the ante-post betting at World Cup Betfair showed traders didn’t fancy his chances, dropping the striker way down a list headed by the likes of Lionel Messi and Romelu Lukaku.

How wrong traders were on that one.

Source: Man Utd Channel via Twitter

Argentina struggled to get out of Group D, ending with four points after three games, five off pace-setters Croatia. During a slow start for his nation, Messi managed just one goal, breaking the deadlock against Nigeria in a must-win on June 26th. The Little Magician has since been eased from jolly to 40/1 outsider.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit the ground running, smashing an opening match hat-trick against Spain in a stunning 3-3 draw that’ll take some beating for performance of the tournament. He then got the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win for Portugal over Morocco which sealed their progression from Group B but missed a penalty vs Iran in their final match of three in the round-robin stage. Heading to the knockouts there’s 11/2 on CR7.

Harry Kane was favourite at the conclusion of the group stage with 13/8 the average price but could there be value in taking him on with Lukaku? Those with a keen eye for the odds will say yes. Tottenham striker Kane has scored five goals – three of them coming against Panama – and he’s 13/8. Romelu Lukaku has four – the same number as Ronaldo – and can be backed at a whopping 6/1. There will be many wise heads who’ll fancy a pop at that.

Source: Sky Sports News via Twitter

Lukaku bagged a brace in Belgium’s final warm-up match against Costa Rica and he picked up where he left off when things got serious, scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Panama. Impressive, but backers weren’t getting too carried away given the level of opposition. He took his form to six goals from three games when getting another two against Tunisia in a 5-2 mauling, Hazard (twice) and Batshuayi making sure.

Belgium finished their group with nine points from a possible nine after edging England 1-0 on Thursday night at the Kaliningrad Stadium. It was billed in the press as a straight shoot-out between the two teams for top-spot and a battle between Kane and Lukaku for bragging rights but both players started and finished on the bench, playing no part.

That result means England will play Columbia and The Red Devils will fancy their chances of beating Japan. If Belgium go through to the quarterfinals and the Three Lions do not you’ve got to fancy Lukaku to push for the golden boot.

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