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Having seen his Portuguese rival earn the golden boot in the last two European seasons, Al Hain-Cole is backing the Barcelona star to return to the top this campaign

Having scored an unprecedented 17 Champions League goals on the way to claiming La Decima with Real Madrid last season, Cristiano Ronaldo is bet365’s 9/4 (3.25) favourite to finish at top scorer for the this year in a row this time out.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TOP SCORER

Odds from bet365
Cristiano Ronaldo 9/4
Lionel Messi 4/1
Robert Lewandowski 11/1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 14/1
Sergio Aguero 16/1
Diego Costa, Luis Suarez, Thomas Muller 20/1
With a reasonably kind group draw having pitted Los Blancos alongside Ludogorets, Basel and Liverpool, those odds look fairly inviting on their irrepressible star man finishing top of the pile this campaign.

However, having picked up the golden boot in the four consecutive seasons prior to Ronaldo’s last two wins, rival Lionel Messi may offer some temptation at 4/1 (5.00) as he leads the line in Luis Enrique’s new-look Barcelona team.

Although Paris Saint-German will provide the Blaugrana with strong competition in the group stages, it is not difficult to imagine the unstoppable Argentine helping himself to a hatful in the opener at home to APOEL, while last season’s hat-trick against Ajax will still be fresh in the memory when they come face-to-face.

After making the controversial move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski is on offer at 11/1 (12.00) to repay Pep Guardiola’s faith by out-scoring Europe’s elite duo, in spite of his team’s draw in the ‘Group of Death’ alongside Manchester City, CSKA Moscow and Roma.

Aside from the big two, Didier Drogba is the only player still active to have scored more goals than Zlatan Ibrahimovic in this competition, and the big Swede is available at 14/1 (15.00) to go one better than last season’s runner-up position this campaign.

Injuries held Sergio Aguero back from scoring more than six goals from six European games last season but the unquestionably talented Manchester City striker could be an intriguing long shot at 16/1 (17.00) should he stay fit.

Beyond that, Diego Costa, Luis Suarez and Thomas Muller are all 20/1 (21.00) outsiders to win what in all likelihood will prove a two horse race as usual.

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Al Hain-Cole is an 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.

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