World Cup Betting Preview: Back Lionel Messi to be the top La Liga scorer

Our La Liga expert Phil Kitromilides believes given Argentina's group draw, the price of 2/1 for the Barcelona man to be the most prolific Primera Division attacker in Brazil
One of the most interesting ways to bet on the World Cup is offered by Paddy Power who are running markets on who will be the top scorer from each major European league at the tournament. The book for the top La Liga scorer is particularly interesting give the quality of players involved.

Unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi leads the way at 2/1 (3.00) with the Barcelona forward looking to take advantage of Argentina's seemingly straightforward group.

The Albiceleste have been drawn with debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as Nigeria and Iran, and Messi is more than capable of racking up a healthy number of goals during the initial stage of the tournament.

Just behind Messi in the betting comes his Blaugrana team-mate Neymar at 7/2 (4.50).

In the Brazil international's favour is that the hosts also have a potentially simple group, involving Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon, meaning that goals should be on the cards.

However, the Barcelona man has had an inconsistent campaign and weight of pressure for him to perform in a home World Cup will be immense.

After two Barcelona players comes Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo at 4/1 (5.00), though Portugal's tough group means it will be difficult for him to net a tally big enough to win in this particular market.

Other names to mention are Karim Benzema at 9/1 (10.00), Pedro at 14/1 (15.00) and Alexis Sanchez at 18/1 (19.00).

Worthy of consideration for a value bet is Cesc Fabregas at 25/1 (26.00), given that the former Arsenal man is likely to play as a false nine in Vicente del Bosque's lineup and as such will be in some pretty advanced positions on the pitch.

Yet for serious punters the main stake has to go on Messi.

Playing in a wonderfully talented team, who's group opponents are at least on paper deeply inferior, Messi should thrive meaning the price of 2/1 (3.00) should be snapped up before it shortens.

Lionel Messi to be top La Liga scorer at 2/1 (3.00) 3.0pt stake with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid