FIFA World Cup 2018: Gambling instincts have set Harry Kane, Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku apart

What makes Harry Kane, Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku stand out is how well they read situations and that’s well they are the among the leading goalscorers in FIFA World Cup 2018, writes Bhaichung Bhutia.

football Updated: Jun 27, 2018 09:47 IST
Bhaichung Bhutia
Bhaichung Bhutia
Hindustan Times
FIFA World Cup 2018,Harry Kane,Diego Costa
Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals so far in FIFA World Cup 2018. (AFP)

They say defenders win you championships but strikers win you games. In no particular order, Harry Kane(five goals), Diego Costa (three goals) and Romelu Lukaku are the ones who have impressed me the most so far in FIFA World Cup 2018.

Kane leads the Golden Boot race and those who dismiss him because two goals have come from penalties do so at their own peril. For a normal amount of perspective, consider this: Ronaldo and Messi have missed from the spot. Kane has been Mr Consistent for Tottenham Hotspur scoring over 30 goals in three of the past four seasons, so the odds would be low on him disappearing from international football after one World Cup like Salvatore Schillaci.

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Kane’s goals have looked simple but, trust me he can score ones that would dazzle. I don’t know whether he will be rested against Belgium, but if he is not, Kane could be the first English player since Gary Lineker to become the highest scorer of a World Cup.

Good Option

Costa isn’t your typical Spain player, at least not the kind we are used to seeing since 2008. But he gives his talented teammates a good option in the front third. It is his hunger for goals that sets Costa apart; he will fight to get one. In the country of the False Nine, Costa is the closest Spain have to a No 9 and they have to hope that he doesn’t go overboard.

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Like Costa, Lukaku is proving to be an integral part of this Belgium team. And Big Rom has more world class players to make those quality deliveries.

What makes these strikers stand out is how well they read situations. What you do inside the penalty box is instinctive and to be at the right place at the right time – like Kane was for the winner against Tunisia – you need to be ahead of the game. Strikers, therefore, need to gamble about where the ball could be, and so far these three have done that well.

Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia is writing exclusively for Hindustan Times.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 09:23 IST