In the second entry of the new tipping column, Infogol's analyst uses expected goals (xG) data to pick out four banker bets across the Premier League and La Liga to help you build your weekend acca...
"This Everton team is yet to gain the identity of a ‘Sam Allardyce team’, and while this continues they will concede goals."
Villarreal are just three points behind third-placed Valencia after a run of five wins from six, but a quick look at their underlying expected goals numbers will tell you that they have been very fortunate. They have conceded just 26 goals, but according to the chances they have conceded, they should have conceded closer to 40.
Alaves had a very slow start to the season, picking up just three points from their first 10 matches. This was understandable after the huge turnaround they had seen in the summer, with their manager Mauricio Pellegrino leaving along with key players. According to Infogol's xG table, they were the eighth-best team in the league last season - so there was plenty of promise within the squad - but they have conceded a lot of chances this campaign (37.7 xG). Despite a generous defence, they have moved clear of the drop zone thanks to five wins in their last nine matches.
This should be a highly competitive game, but with both teams conceding a lot of chances in matches, both teams are expected to score.
Everton were thumped 5-1 last weekend by Arsenal, thanks mainly to a capitulation in the first half. Sam Allardyce laid into his team afterwards, and will be looking for a reaction in this game. The Toffees continue to concede a host of chances in their matches, and have a woeful defence according to expected goals (43.9 xG), second only to Stoke. This Everton team is yet to gain the identity of a 'Sam Allardyce team', and while this continues they will concede goals.
Last week's pick Crystal Palace are due more luck here, having been unfortunate not to have beaten Newcastle United in an entertaining game. The Eagles were by far the better of the two teams, and based on chances created in the match (CRY 3.1 - 1.3 NEW xG), they would win that game 73% of the time. Palace are an entertaining team to watch, and their games average 3.1 xG, so goals are on the agenda here.
Malaga are rooted to the bottom of the table after another defeat to one of their relegation rivals, losing 1-0 to Las Palmas on Monday. They are without a win in seven matches, and are seven points from safety, so it's all doom and gloom in Malaga. Jose Gonzalez's team has the second-worst attacking stats according to xG (26.1), and the fourth-worst defensive stats (40.3 xG), so it's no surprise to see them struggling.
Diego Simeone's side edged a tight encounter against Valencia last time and are now unbeaten in five matches - they look to have tightened their grip on second spot. Despite only conceding nine goals in 22 matches, Atletico continue to show vulnerabilities though and actually have an xGA of nearer 26. They present chances, but when you play against Atleti, you really need to take them.
Atletico are strong favourites to win the game, and with an expected goal total of 2.9, the generous price for Over 2.5 goals is worth taking.
Mestalla hosts the return fixture of the Derbi de Valencia. Valencia appear to be grinding to a halt in their pursuit of Champions League football, and suffered their fifth defeat in seven matches against Atletico Madrid last weekend. This poor run of form was predicted, as Valencia were out-performing their expected goals by an unsustainable margin. After 15 matches, they were over-performing their expected goal difference by 17 goals. In seven matches since then, they have conceded 13.9 xG, at an average of nearly 2 xG per game.
Levante come into this derby in poor form having failed to win in 10 matches, but they should be on a high after a deserved late equaliser against Real Madrid last weekend. They are hovering just above the relegation zone after a quick start, and though Infogol's expected table suggests that their performances warrant them being higher in the table (15th), they have the third worst defensive record according to xG.
Given the number of chances both sides surrender, the fair price on Over 2.5 goals is worth taking.
Acca pays 15/1