As part of a French team that has already lit up an entertaining World Cup, Al Hain-Cole thinks it’s worth backing the Real Madrid man now with some easier games coming up
As the highest-scoring World Cup since 1958, this year’s tournament has come as a welcome relief from the recent trend for defensive football.
This productivity in front of goal is partly explained by the fine form of many of the tournament’s big names, with five players already having scored three times each.
Thomas Muller’s hat-trick against Portugal in Germany’s opening match has seen him placed as 3/1 (4.00) favourite with Paddy Power to retain the Golden Boot award he won in South Africa four years ago, despite failing to find the net against Ghana.
Despite that result, Joachim Low’s men remain well-placed to progress to the last 16 as group winners, where they would face a beatable second-placed team from Group H before a possible quarter-final against France – the most prolific team in Brazil.
Les Bleus have scored eight goals in just two matches so far, with three of those coming courtesy of Karim Benzema, who is on offer at 7/2 (4.50) to finish top scorer.
Those odds look worth snapping up now considering Laurent Blanc’s free-scoring team take on an Ecuador side without a clean sheet to their name so far before probably facing Nigeria in the next round.
Ecuador’s hopes of upsetting France may rest largely on Enner Valencia maintaining the form that has also seen him strike three times so far, probably an unlikely scenario as 25/1 (26.00) odds suggest.
Also with three goals to their name are Dutch pair Arjen Robben 10/1 (11.00) and Robin van Persie 10/1 (11.00), although the latter’s suspension from the next match make him a longer shot at those odds.
Despite lagging one goal behind on two apiece, pre-tournament favourites Lionel Messi 4/1 (5.00) and Neymar 6/1 (7.00) remain among the front-runners as their sides face Nigeria and Cameroon respectively before surely progressing to the last 16.
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.