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Melbourne's Allsopp bridges gap on Smeltz in golden boot race

Just as the race for top spot on the A-League ladder comes down to the last week, so too does the battle for the goal scoring title.

At present, Wellington Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz leads the way with 12 goals but in hot pursuit is the in-form Danny Allsopp of the Melbourne Victory who thanks to a goal on Friday night is just one behind on 11.

He is joined by the Central Coast Mariners' Matt Simon and hot on their heels is Queensland Roar's Dutch talisman Sergio van Dijk who has scored five times in his last three outings and has a total of 10 this season.

The main battle however, will be at the Telstra Dome on Friday night as Melbourne Victory hosts the Wellington Phoenix.

Both Allsopp and Smeltz will have team success as their major priority but personal glory will be in the back of their minds.

Allsopp will be hoping to add to his 2006/2007 award when he topped the scoring after the regular season as the Victory went on to record a resounding Grand Final win over Adelaide United whilst Smeltz scored the second most goals last season, only bettered by the Newcastle Jets' Joel Griffiths.

On Sunday, Simon's Mariners host league leaders Adelaide United who have the stingiest defence in the league which will make it tough for the 22-year old and van Dijk and the Roar take on Perth Glory on Saturday night.

The Glory have actually conceded the most goals this season and the Roar are playing for the minor premiership and being in the form he is at the moment, you would have to say van Dijk is a massive chance to steal the award.

However, I'm sticking with either Allsopp or Smeltz.

If the Victory give their usual Telstra Dome performance then it creates a huge case for Allsopp but never underestimate the predatory prowess of the Smeltz.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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