Can Werner catch Lewandowski in the race for the Golden Boot? | inside World Soccer


Can Werner catch Lewandowski in the race for the Golden Boot?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

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As the Bundesliga season gets back underway following its suspension as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, there are just nine games remaining but plenty of battles to be won.

There's the race hotting up for the title, with Borussia Dortmund just four points behind Bayern Munich, who have won the Bundesliga for the last seven seasons.

Further down the table, there are four teams battling for seventh place and that final place in Europe. Meanwhile, the race for the Golden Boot is also exciting – but definitely a two-horse race.

The four-time winner of the Golden Boot, or Torjägerkanone, is Robert Lewandowski, who currently leads the way with 25 goals so far this campaign. RB Leipzig's Timo Werner is just four goals behind on 21. His side are also still in with a shot of the title, with Leipzig sitting in third, just one point behind Dortmund.

Statistics show that Werner has contributed more assists this season, and he has a higher percentage of shots on target (64%) over Lewandowski (60%), but could he make a late charge and catch the Polish striker?

Lewandowski has been the most-feared frontman in German football for a decade now and wherever he's played, he's scored goals. His record while at Dortmund was impressive – 74 goals in 131 Bundesliga appearances – but his stats at Bayern are exceptional. With 152 goals in 183 appearances, there's no wonder that he is constantly the favourite for the Golden Boot in German Bundesliga odds.

The Polish international missed Bayern's last two matches before the league was suspended, due to injury, so it will be interesting to see if this lay-off has halted his momentum, in which case, the battle for top scorer will be a lot tighter.

There's no doubt that if Lewandowski does have a dip in form during these final few games, Werner will be ready to pounce. Prior to the postponement of the Bundesliga, the German only scored once in three matches, and had a barren spell of four games without a goal before that.

But he seems to go in spells of scoring – and his streak at the back end of last year was impressive, including a hat-trick over Mainz, and braces against Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim and title-challengers, Dortmund.

In fact, in November, the Leipzig striker, who's eight years younger than Lewandowski joked: "You can't score in all the matches, unless your name is Robert Lewandowski," before continuing, "When I scored two goals in Berlin, he made two against Dortmund and I wondered when he will stop. He's currently in the same category as Ronaldo and Messi."

A similar run as the league restarts would more than certainly stand him in good stead to topple his rival. The fixtures are certainly in Leipzig's – and Werner's – favour, with matches against five of the bottom six to come.

And the 24-year-old's goals this season haven't gone unnoticed by the rest of Europe's elite, with Liverpool leading the pursuit for his signature ahead of the next transfer window. It's believed that Chelsea, Barcelona and Inter Milan are also interested in the striker, who has a €60m release clause in his contract.

This has been one of the most competitive Bundesliga seasons for a while, and it's fair to say that the race could well go down to the wire.

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