Premier League Hotshots: Ranking the Top 10 Strikers in the EPL This Season

Jonathan Woo@woo_jonathanwooCorrespondent IMay 16, 2011

Premier League Hotshots: Ranking the Top 10 Strikers in the EPL This Season

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United scores his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on November 27, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (P
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    They are the goal scorers, often times the game winners and the clinical finishers needed to record the points and clinch matches.

    It is quite common that when a striker's form goes, so does his team's, resulting in dropped points, free falls down the table and missed opportunities.

    But on the contrary, should those same strikers produce consistently, he puts his team in a position to be successful.

    Here are the Premier League's top 10 strikers this season.

Honorable Mention: Johan Elmander

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Johan Elmander of Bolton Wanderers celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers at the DW Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Wigan, England.  (Photo
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Johan Elmander has put together his best season since joining Bolton from Toulouse in 2008.

    The Swede has 10 league goals in 36 matches. But after a great start to the campaign, Elmander has leveled off significantly, scoring just once in the Premier League in his last 17 appearances after scoring eight times in the first 14 fixtures of the year.

    Despite his dip in form, where Daniel Sturridge has picked up the slack, Elmander has proven to be a valuable asset in the final third for Bolton.

    In the final year of his contract, Elmander has produced after scoring just eight league goals in his first two years at the Reebok. 

D.J. Campbell

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    Whether or not Blackpool survives the gauntlet at the bottom of the table, D.J. Campbell has put together a memorable season for the Tangerines.

    The 29-year-old got his first start for the club in September, netting his first goal in a 2-0 win at St. James Park.

    Throughout the year, he's consistently provided the goals that have helped the club stay alive in the competitive Premiership. With three goals in his last two games, Campbell may have done just enough to keep the Seasiders in England's top flight for another season.  

Andy Carroll

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 11:  Andy Carroll of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 11, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Andy Carroll looked virtually unstoppable at the start of the season, scoring goals with his head and with his feet.

    But an injury over the winter and a drop in form with his new club at Anfield has left the 22-year-old striker with two goals in his last eight matches.

    Though the drop in production is something to account, it is tough to discount his great form with Newcastle. 11 of his 13 goals came in 19 league games for the Magpies, a fine scoring rate.

    Carroll's promise alone arguably makes him one of the best young strikers in the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on April 23, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Ima
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    It is a strange sight to see Wayne Rooney stumble towards the bottom of a list ranking the Premiership's top strikers, considering his immense talent and the career year he recorded in 2009.

    And although the England international battled injuries, he is still one of the league's top contributors.

    His 11 goals in 27 matches appear quite pedestrian for a striker of his quality, but coupled with 11 assists demonstrate his commitment and value to Manchester United.

Javier Hernandez

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Javier Hernandez of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Manchester United and Marseille at Old Trafford on March 15, 2011 in Mancheste
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Though Rooney's impact on the club has shrunk this season, one United striker who was influential and timely all year long was Javier Hernandez.

    The summer signing has not produce the clinical finishes that one would covet for a goal scorer, but from his debut goal off his chest to each of his 12 goals after that, Chicharito has proven a quality player in the final third.

    A successful first season at Old Trafford, no doubt, the future expectations for the young Mexican will only soar higher.

    If he continues to position himself in the right places at the right times, who needs Rooney, right? (kidding...)

Peter Odemwingie

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    WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 08:  Peter Odemwingie of WBA during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion at Molineux on May 8, 2011 in Wolverhampton, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Two clubs will retain their Premier League statuses at the end of the season.

    Thanks to Peter Odemwingie, who has scored 15 goals in 32 league fixtures, West Brom will enjoy the EPL spotlight next year.

    The Uzbek-born Nigerian bloomed in his first season in England and recently has flourished in goal-scoring form. The 29-year-old has recorded a goal in each of his last five appearances, including scores against Aston Villa, Tottenham and Chelsea.

    Odemwingie tops the club with his 15 scores. To put his value into perspective, the next four leading scorers for the team have a combined 18 goals.

Didier Drogba

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    WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 05:  (EDITORS NOTE: THIS BLACK AND WHITE IMAGE WAS CREATED FROM ORIGINAL COLOUR FILE)  Didier Drogba of Chelsea reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    A ridiculous 40-goal campaign in all competitions last year led many to believe that Didier Drogba would continue his relentless goal-scoring frenzy.

    But the Ivorian went through a huge drop in production, though his impact remained very high.

    In 36 league games, Drogba has scored 11 times while setting up goals on 13 occasions.

    At 33-years-old, his combination of strength, pace and power still make him one of the more feared strikers in the Premiership.

Robin Van Persie

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    After a sluggish start to the campaign, Robin van Persie has really come on as of late, netting 11 goals in 11 matches after three in his first 11 appearances.

    The Dutchman has been a critical component of the Gunners' offense, which ranks second in the Premier League with 70 goals.

    With 17 goals in 24 league fixtures, van Persie's scoring rate is one of the best in England.

Darren Bent

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    BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Darren Bent of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the equaliser during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Stoke City at Villa Park on April 23, 2011 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Though quite pricey during January's transfer window, Darren Bent may have been the most lucrative signing of the winter. But for his body of work over the entire Premier League season between Sunderland and Aston Villa, he is one of the top strikers of the year.

    Despite all that Villa has gone through from before the campaign began with the resignation of Martin O'Neill, they have managed to stay afloat.

    In 15 games since joining the club, Bent has converted nine goals, including a double in the team's most recent win over the Gunners.

    The £24 million spent was a hefty tag at the time, but if the club can secure a couple of strong pieces to surround the 27-year-old, Aston Villa could be one to watch next season. 

Carlos Tevez

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at the City of Manchester Stadium on February 5, 2011 in
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Despite all the talk over the year of Carlos Tevez's commitment to City, the Argentine has succeeded with flying colors.

    The EPL's second leading scorer (19) was out with a hamstring injury for a months time, but he's been one of the more consistent scorers for the club.

    His work rate is among the best in the league, and countless of his goals have respectably come from his relentless pursuit of the ball. It only helps that he finishes with the best in England.

    Whether or not the City captain returns to Manchester next season, he's helped the club reach its goal of a Champions League berth.

Dimitar Berbatov

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Dimatar Berbatov of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford on March 19, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Though he didn't score in consecutive matches very often, Dimitar Berbatov did his work in bunches, scoring at least twice in five different games.

    For perspective, the Bulgarian recorded 15 goals in those five fixtures.

    Nevertheless, the 30-year-old was always atop the league's scoring list. His quick start to the year, six goals in the first five games of the season threw him into a good form, although he has scored just twice in his last 11 appearances.