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Euro 2012: Who will be the leading goalscorer?

Euro 2012: Who will be the leading goalscorer?
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We've reached that time of year where people will begin to place their Euro 2012 bets. Here, Sports Mole picks five players who could be the tournament's leading goalscorer.

While many will be having a flutter on what nation will emerge victorious from Euro 2012, some will also be spending their hard-earned cash on predicting which player will win the Golden Boot.

Since 1988 no more than five goals have been required to claim the award, meaning that there are many forward-thinking players heading to Poland and the Ukraine with a realistic chance of winning the coveted trophy.

With that in mind, Sports Mole has selected five players that could offer good value for money this summer.

The safe bets:

Mario Gomez, Germany

Champions League final aside, Gomez has had a prolific season in front of goal for Bayern Munich. The 26-year-old found the net on 41 occasions in all competitions to make him one of the most feared marksmen in Europe. His recent international record is also not too shabby, having scored six goals during qualifying.

Odds: 8/1

Robin van Persie, Holland

Having had his best season in front of goal for Arsenal, Van Persie will head into Euro 2012 high with confidence. The 28-year-old is expected to lead the line for Holland, who will have the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart supplying him with chances. Van Persie scored six goals in nine international matches last year.

Odds: 10/1

Mid-range bets:

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

It may seem crazy not include a player that has scored 146 goals in just 144 appearances for Real Madrid among our "safe bets". The fact is though that Ronaldo's Portugal have been drawn in a group alongside tournament favourites Holland and Germany. The Portuguese are not the force they once were and many expect them to fail to reach the quarter-finals. However, if they do, Ronaldo's goals are sure to be a major factor. He scored seven goals during the qualifying campaign.

Odds: 14/1

Fernando Llorente, Spain

With David Villa out injured and Fernando Torres suffering from a lack of form in front of goal, Athletic Bilbao's Llorente may well be the man to start up front for Spain. Unlike most Spanish strikers, the 27-year-old provides a physical presence that will allow his teammates to produce crosses for him to head goalwards. Despite not featuring too regularly, Llorente still scored three goals during qualification.

Odds: 18/1

The each-way bet:

Nikica Jelavic, Croatia

Many raised doubts over Jelavic's ability to score goals in a major league when he joined Everton in January. The Croatian went on to silence those critics by scoring nine times in 13 outings, including goals against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Croatia are not highly fancied at Euro 2012, but they do have creative midfielders like Luka Modric, who could provide Jelavic with the chances he requires.

Odds: 50/1

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