UEFA Champions League 2012: Predicting Top Scorers for Group Stages

Mark Goldberg@MZGoldbergCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2012

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 20:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Bernabeu on October 20, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The 2012 UEFA Champions League tournament is entering the third round of the group stage this week. So far, some of the world’s best scorers have lived up to their reputations. That trend will likely continue as some of the best clubs in the world play relatively weak opponents in this stage of the tournament.

These players should remain at or near the top of the table in terms of goals when the Champions League enters the Round of 16.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, perhaps the world’s most famous footballer, is currently atop the Champions League statistics with four goals netted in Real Madrid’s first two games in the tournament.

Ronaldo has been on a tear as of late. He scored three goals in his last two La Liga matches, including two in El Clasico against Barcelona.

Real Madrid is in Group D with Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax Amsterdam—a trio of teams that sport a combined minus-four goal differential. The opportunities should be ample for Cristiano moving forward in the tournament.


Robin Van Persie

Robin Van Persie has made himself right at home with Manchester United. He has six Premier League goals and two in the Champions League. RVP’s play has been masterful with his new club, and it should only get better.

Van Persie recently said that his relationship with fellow United striker Wayne Rooney is getting stronger. Expect many more goals from the two as their partnership on the pitch continues to develop.

Group H, with the exception of Man U, is one of the weakest in the tournament. Manchester United should emerge with a flawless record in the stage, and RVP will lead the way.


Juan Mata

Juan Mata may seem like a surprise on this list, but he has been so consistent for Chelsea that he warrants consideration. In Premier League play, Mata has netted three goals and five assists, including a two-goal eruption in the second half of their recent tilt with Tottenham.

Mata has also had success in the Champions League to this point. He scored twice in their first match with Nordsjaelland. Chelsea’s group is one of the tougher ones, but it appears that Mata will be the most consistent scorer for Chelsea moving forward.