‘Bes’ has opened up a gap on the chasing pack, but could a couple of South Americans and a “Kiwi Messi” peg back the Melbourne Victory star for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season Golden Boot?
In a thrilling race to the finish line over the next six weeks, everyone is trying to catch brilliant Berisha as the season’s top scorer.
While City’s Bruno Fornaroli is the closest challenger, could Sydney FC’s in-form Brazilian marquee Bobo make a late charge?
There are just six games to go and we cast our eye over the leading contenders for the golden boot heading towards round 27.
Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory, 17 goals)
There appears no stopping Berisha right now. Notched his 50th goal in Victory colours last weekend and now needs just two more to get to the magical 100 mark. Could it happen in the Big Blue at Allianz on Friday night?
Ironically, it’s the same venue he scored his very first A-League goal at for Brisbane Roar back in round two of the 2011/12 Season. Berisha could miss a match later this month though with an international call-up for Kosovo likely.
Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City, 13 goals)
Despite a roller-coaster season for the Uruguayan, he’s still the closest challenger to Berisha.
With four of City’s last six matches against teams currently sixth or lower, you wouldn’t rule out Fornaroli bagging plenty in the run-in as City aim to cement a top-four spot.
Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory, 11 goals)
In a team with attacking threats all over the par, Rojas has been an astonishing contributor. Not only has he provided 10 assists but his return of 11 goals from the wing has him again being talked about for the Johnny Warren Medal.
Like Berisha, international duty will see him miss at least one match meaning he’ll need to be prolific in the other games to catch his Victory pal.
Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar, 11 goals)
The hectic ACL schedule could work against the Caltex Socceroo striker. ‘Macca’ has scored consistently during the season and if Roar is to get into the top four, he’ll need to bag plenty over the next few weeks.
Brisbane only play two sides currently in the top six on the run home which means the 23-year-old could rocket up the standings.
Bobo (Sydney FC, 10 goals)
The Sky Blues’ record-breaking campaign, the Brazilian striker has had his critics for not scoring enough goals. But with three in his last three – including a brace against City last time out – Bobo could be catching fire at just the right time.
His individual battle with Berisha in Friday night’s Big Blue will be a beauty and could determine which shade of blue prevails in the top-of-the-table clash.
Roy O’Donovan (Central Coast Mariners, 10 goals)
His goals have been pivotal already this season and if the Mariners are surge from the chasing pack and make the finals, O’Donovan will need a few more over the next month or so.
The Irishman doesn’t need many chances to find the net, with his 10 goals coming from just 23 shots on target, one of the best conversion rates any striker in the competition.
Roy Krishna (Wellington Phoenix, 10 goals)
In an inconsistent campaign for the Kiwi club, Krishna has delivered constantly.
His growing combination with the likes of Smeltz and Barbarouses means there’s likely to be more goals in coming weeks, although he will miss one match on international duty with Fiji.
Adam Taggart (Perth Glory, 10 goals)
The Caltex Socceroo striker has been on fire in recent months. A big reason for Glory’s surge to third spot, his 10 goals have come from just 16 matches.
Won the golden boot back in the 2013/14 Season and it would take a special effort to repeat the feat, with Glory still to play the likes of Victory, Sydney FC, Roar and Melbourne City on the run home.
Brendon Santalab (Western Sydney Wanderers, 9 goals)
It would take something special for “Santa” to get to the top of the tree but with the best minutes-to-goals ratio of the leading contenders you just can’t rule him out.
The Wanderers will need his goals to hold off the chasing pack for sixth spot.
Source : Football Federation Australia