Ciro Immobile is driven by a bid to defy his critics after Italy’s World Cup heartbreak as he leads the Serie A scoring charts and chases the gong for a fourth time – with Juventus hotshot Dusan Vlahovic just behind him
- Ciro Immobile and Dusan Vlahovic are battling for the Serie A top scorer award
- Lazio striking sensation Immobile currently leads the charts with his 25 goals
- But Vlahovic, Juventus’ main No 9, is right behind him, having netted 23 times
- Immobile is on the hunt to win the accolade for a fourth time this campaign
- He is driven by a desire to prove critics wrong after poor national team showings
Italy is long renowned for being the home of many of the sport’s great strikers, meaning who finishes top of the Serie A scoring stakes is just as important as ever.
This season, Lazio frontman Ciro Immobile and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic are battling it out to take home the accolade. If the former triumphs, he would become the king of this achievement for a fourth time. Vlahovic, meanwhile, can win his first.
The latter would also be the first young millennial in the history of the top-flight to take home the award – although he currently trails by just two goals. No matter who comes out on top, though, there will be a superb achievement to celebrate.
Ciro Immobile is leading the way at the top of the Serie A scoring charts, having hit 25 goals
Striking sensation Immobile could win the accolade for a fourth time at the end of the season
Both have enjoyed contrasting backgrounds in football. Immobile progressed through the youth ranks at Juventus but was sold after not being considered a top player. In the years that have followed, he has proven them wrong.
Vlahovic, on the other hand, is the sensation unearthed by scouts at Fiorentina and later sold on. From the start, it was clear he would enjoy a bright future.
A prediction made by Sky Sports in Italy sees Immobile given the nod over his rival in the tussle to take home the Capocannoniere trophy for finishing as top scorer. Both sides have five games left in Serie A this campaign, and the two aces are expected to find the net often in them.
But Juventus hotshot Dusan Vlahovic is also hot on his heels, just two strikes off Immobile
Immobile, the statistics show, has a current goal average of 0.89 per game, and his projection over his team’s remaining fixtures stands at 4.46. Vlahovic’s average is lower, 0.74 a game, and his expected goals tally of 3.71 also dwarf’s Immobile’s.
Now on 25 goals, two ahead of Vlahovic’s 23, the in-form Immobile could reach the end of the season having found the net 29 or 30 times for yet another year.
Juventus have certainly been bolstered by the arrival of Vlahovic, who has quickly become their leading No 9. But there has not been a mutual improvement.
Data from Opta reveals that, after their frontman put pen to paper in Turin, their points average per game rose from 1.8 to 2.1. They have also moved into fourth place in the Serie A standings, with their average goals increasing from 1.4 to 1.6.
Vlahovic has bolstered his side’s fortunes, although there has not been a mutual improvement
Serie A scoring charts
Ciro Immobile (Lazio) – 25 goals
Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus) – 23 goals
Giovanni Simeone (Hellas Verona) – 16 goals
Tammy Abraham (Roma) – 15 goals
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan) – 15 goals
The total number of goals from their whole attack has become lower than they would like, which may trip them up in their Champions League qualification bid.
At Lazio, Immobile is desperate to prove his doubters wrong. He was savaged in the wake of Italy failing to qualify for the World Cup, following their shock defeat by North Macedonia. It is understood he is angry at the criticism directed at him.
Now, he is attempting to fire Lazio to success this season, with a spot in Europe still possible. He is also in contention to become the top scorer in the whole of the continent – to add to the Golden Shoe he already clinched in the 2019-20 campaign.
As it stands, he is in second place in the standings. Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski tops the list with 32 goals, while Immobile is level with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema on 25. Both attackers will battle it out until the very last match.
Immobile was savaged in Italy after their shock World Cup qualifying loss by North Macedonia
Angered, he is desperate to defy his critics in his bid to become top scorer again this campaign
The odds are in his favour, too. He is, after all, the only Italian player to have scored more than 25 goals a year for three consecutive years. In 2018, he scored 29 goals. Across 2020, there were 36. He is now on 25 goals, with five games still to play.
After he scored his last-minute equaliser in the draw with Torino last week, he joined Fabio Quagliarella in 13th spot in the Serie A all-time top scorer table. That made him the most prolific attacker still currently playing in the history of the top division.
He is now hurtling towards Gabriel Batistuta, who hit 184 goals during his spells with Fiorentina, Roma and Inter Milan. Ahead of him are Alberto Gilardino, Alessandro Del Piero and Giuseppe Signori, all of whom netted 188 times.
While Immobile has work to do to catch them, it would be no surprise if he were to do just that this season. First, however, that Capocannoniere this year awaits.
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