With the first round of a competition which will have 37 more rounds already played, observers have already earmarked a few players who show the signs of fighting for the crown till the last day. The race looks very long and it's every player's prayer that they stay away from the path of suspensions and injuries. Of course, good form is another thing that contenders of this glorious boots can yawn for because it can put them high in the manager's pecking order in their respective teams. High pecking order can guarantee a player a place in the starting line-up throughout the season as players engage in an internal scramble for positions.

What happened in the previous season?

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur will be trying so hard to defend the crown that he has held in the two previous and consecutive seasons.

Last season he started the race slowly and quietly only to begin letting goals rain in the last few games of the season to pass the pace setters. Harry Kane was ruthless toward the end of the season as he even bagged four goals against Leicester City before grabbing a hat-trick against the relegated Hull City. Will he show the same hunger for goals this season?

The want-away Diego Costa whose goals played a big role in Chelsea winning the Premier League last season started very only to experience the goal drought as the season concluded. His staggering goal-scoring form late in the season ensured that he finished fourth in the log that he looked favorite from the beginning. Costa should also thank his manager Antonio Conte for his (Conte's) man-management that show the former Brazilian striker change his temperament hence few suspension.

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Romelu Lukaku who has now signed for Manchester United started the previous season well with Everton and looked as clear favorite to pocket the best scorer award only to allow the eventual winner Harry Kane to overtake him. Lukaku finished second in front of the now unsettled Arsenal striker, Alexis Sanchez. Other players who were in that race were the injury-prone Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, Delle Alli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

What has changed?

We expect to see a massive change in the attacking forwards of the teams challenging for the prestigious trophy except at Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City who haven't changed their attacking options. The Spurs seem to have retained their attack that has ensured that they finish in Top Three two seasons in a row. I expect Harry Kane to lead the hunt for goals just in front of Delle Alli who also know where the goal sticks are. At Manchester City Aguero will be battling with Gabriel Jesus for the starting slot which can very much determine the number of goals each can score unless the manager opts for a formation with the two strikers.

There are many ramifications at Manchester United that released Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who were their top attackers last season with Marcus Rashford featuring at some stages. The Devils have now acquired the Belgian striker that Mourinho had sold to Everton during the Special One's second spell at Chelsea, Rashford seems destined to play from the midfield but there's a massive prospect of Ibrahimovic returning at Old Trafford.

There are several changes as far as Chelsea's attacking option is concerned. I'm sure that the club manager is cursing why he had to send Diego Costa a phone text indicating how he no longer needed the striker in his plans. If Costa remains at Stamford Bridge, I expect the manager to frustrate him (Costa) just because of ego but it will be detrimental to the team that's trying to groom a striker to defend their title. Currently, Chelsea has Michy Batshuayi and Alvaro Morata as their lead strikers, but none of them has managed to score more than 15 goals within a season in the top leagues so it will be a tall order for the Blues. However, the talented Eden Hazard has exhibited the qualities and the will that he too can score goals.

With Alexis Sanchez unsettled, Arsenal can still rely on the two French internationals (Giroud and Lacazatte) for goals. Besides, #Danny Welbeck has the ability to score goals with the experience he has in Premier League with the top clubs. Who among these gunners will lead Arsenal for the quest for goals?

Who will be the last man standing?

Let me assume that Diego Costa and Sanchez won't be at their respective clubs until the end of the season, but Sanchez might only switch clubs and remain in the league as Manchester City are pursuing him. I'll put Aguero as my strong favorite to lead the race for maximum goals should he evade the injuries and stay top in Guardiola's pecking order. The Argentine striker has stayed long enough in the league and has always scored a two-digit league goal in each season he has played in England. However, he still needs to find a way of controlling his temperament so that he can avoid silly bookings like the red-card he got in their 3-1 defeat against Chelsea last season. He already has a goal and he takes penalties for City, so what can deter him from finishing top?

Romelu Lukaku who has already bagged a brace in his league debut for the #Red Devils looks set to score more goals and challenge for the top score spot. Despite playing for an average club last season, he was at the glimpse of scoring more goals than any other striker had he not taken slump late in the season. He did well during his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion while still a Chelsea player and then repeated the feat at Everton. I expect him to closely challenge for the boot but only to emerge second after Aguero.

I can't refute the fact that Harry Kane is a top striker who takes opportunities to score many goals if there's a chance, but I don't see him taking his award for the third time in a row. I still regard his late form last season as luck and he can prove me wrong if he can win back his boot. I see him finishing third in a race that promises to be hot.

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy who had a quiet season last time can also find himself in this race should he try to be consistent. Arsenal new signing, Lacazatte will find the league challenging than it was for him in French League One so I expect him to struggle. Another player who can struggle is Alvaro Morata who has a big assignment at Chelsea, with the unlucky number 9 jersey, he will find the race tough and he won't expect to score from the penalty spot because Hazard will be taking all the penalties while on the pitch.