The Premier League heads into GW3 and Jake Osgathorpe uses expected goals (xG) to assess the likely winners and scorelines of each match...
"So far this season, Liverpool have created 5.6 xGF while allowing 1.2 xGA against two tricky opponents, and to my eye, they look more like the team that started last season than the one that finished it."
United to win again at Amex
Brighton vs Manchester United
Brighton got their first win of the season in impressive fashion at Newcastle, running out 3-0 victors after a dominant display (xG: NEW 0.6 - 1.8 BHA). They built on a good display against Chelsea in their opener, and Graham Potter looks to have implemented a new formation which is getting the best out of his players. Manchester United looked like a team who hadn't had a pre-season last weekend against Crystal Palace, going down 3-1 at Old Trafford in what was a pretty timid display. They will be better for that run out, and need to bounce back, which looks more likely with Mason Greenwood and Aaron Wan-Bissaka back in the fold. These sides met only a few months ago and Solskjaer's side won with ease, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them do so again. We give them a 55% chance of winning the game, though the model is favouring the unders (52%) which is interesting - 0-2.
Back the 0-2 @ 10.09/1
Toffee train to hit a sticky patch
Crystal Palace vs Everton
Crystal Palace looked extremely well organised and especially dangerous against Manchester United last weekend, ultimately earning a deserved win at Old Trafford (xG: MUN 1.3 - 1.8 CRY). The Eagles are playing in a much smarter manner that is allowing them to be more adventurous when counter-attacking, and that is something to keep an eye on as the season progresses, with Roy Hodgson's side having won the xG battle on both occasions this term. Everton blew West Brom away in what was an all-out-attack approach, racking up five goals and 3.8 xGF, which was a contrast to their measured performance at Tottenham on opening day. It really is exciting times under Carlo Ancelotti, but this represents a different kind of test to what they have faced already. We like Palace's chances of avoiding defeat here (62%), with under 2.5 goals again favoured (60%) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 7.26/1
Chelsea to add to Baggies woes
West Brom vs Chelsea
West Brom looked defensively poor yet again last week, as they allowed Everton to create 2.0 xGF in the first half and 3.8 in total. That came a week after conceding three goals and 3.0 xGF to Leicester, and that consistency in allowing chances really isn't a good sign, especially this week against Chelsea. Frank Lampard's side were poor against Liverpool last week, rightly losing 2-0 after mustering just 0.2 non-penalty xGF. Even prior to the red card I was disappointed by the Blues (0.05 xGF), and that was also the case against Brighton on opening day. However, it will take time for this Chelsea team to come together, and there are injuries to new signings and key players to consider, but the quality is there and the process from last season was excellent (2.1 xGF, 1.2 xGA per game). This is a good game for the Blues to get back to their best against a vulnerable West Brom side, and the visitors are taken to win (59%) with goals likely (55% O2.5, 53% BTTS) - 1-3.
Back the 1-3 @ 13.012/1
Clarets to pick up first win
Burnley vs Southampton
Burnley were beaten by Leicester in their opener, but while they saw less of the ball and the eye-test suggested they were rightly beaten, Sean Dyche's side actually won the xG battle and allowed the Foxes to create just one 'big chance' (xG: LEI 1.3 - 1.4 BUR). That was only their third defeat in 17 league games, and though they may be light on the ground in terms of bodies, Burnley have some key players back fit. Southampton looked really good for 45 minutes against Tottenham, but Heung-Min Son's goal before half time turned the tide of the game (1st Half xG: SOU 1.4 - 0.1 TOT). In the second period, Hasenhuttl's side were caught in a loop, conceding the same kind of goal again and again, allowing 2.1 xGA in the second half. They have to be better defensively and learn from those mistakes, but Burnley have the capability to catch them out again this weekend. Burnley have a 41% chance of winning a high-scoring game (50% O2.5, 54% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 13.5
All square in Yorkshire derby
Sheffield United vs Leeds
Sheffield United had some hard luck against Aston Villa in my opinion on Monday, but still put up a staunch defensive display even with 10-men, allowing just 1.0 xGA and no 'big chances'. They look to be being unfairly written off after two games, with people seemingly forgetting how good they were last season (1.3 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg). Leeds got their first Premier League win of the season against Fulham last weekend, again thankful for some extremely clinical finishing in the 4-3 win (xG: LEE 1.4 - 1.9 FUL). They have now scored seven times from chances equating to 1.7 xGF, a level of overperformance that isn't sustainable over a long period of time, with Marcelo Bielsa already commenting on the fact his side aren't creating enough 'big chances'. The market has this as a pick 'em, but Infogol makes the Blades narrow favourites. I still think The Whites will avoid defeat (59%) in a low-scoring game (57% U2.5) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 7.26/1
Spurs to get another high-scoring win
Tottenham vs Newcastle
Tottenham rode their luck in the first half of their game at Southampton, scoring with their only chance in the first period to equalise. However, in the second half, they simply torched the Saints defence with the out-to-in runs of Son and the fantastic passing of Kane. They created 2.1 xGF in that second half, and Spurs fans will be hoping for more of the same. Newcastle were steamrolled by Brighton last Sunday, simply being second best to a progressive team as they struggled to create (xG: NEW 0.6 - 1.8 BHA). That performance followed an impressive one at West Ham, so it's anyone's guess as to what kind of display we get from Bruce's side here. They have the capability to threaten Spurs, so we think goals are on the cards (54% O2.5, 51% BTTS), though a home win looks likely (59%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 14.013/1
City to look imperious again
Manchester City vs Leicester
Manchester City looked in dominant form for 70 of the 90 minutes against Wolves on Monday night, creating chances and limiting their hosts well. However there were 20 minutes in there that Wolves rallied and caused all sorts of problems for Pep's side, suggesting there still are vulnerabilities defensively at City. Fortunately for the title challengers, their attacking process is likely to be excellent again (2.7 xGF pg in 19/20). Leicester have made a solid start to the campaign winning both games against West Brom and Burnley, but this is a big step up on those opponents. I don't think they have been as convincing as their results and scorelines suggest, and are set to be missing a few key players here, meaning it could be a long afternoon for the Foxes. City should be even better for that run out on Monday at a tough opponent, and are taken to win again (68%), with goals expected much to the surprise of everyone (70% O2.5, 61% BTTS) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 11.521/2
Three straight defeats for Hammers
West Ham vs Wolves
West Ham were really unfortunate to lose at Arsenal last weekend after a strong performance in which they dominated the game for the most part, creating the better chances (xG: ARS 1.3 - 2.3 WHU). It was a contrasting display to what we saw against Newcastle on opening day, so we aren't really sure what to expect from the Hammers in this game against a solid defensive team. Wolves, while being well beaten by Manchester City, did show some promising signs at both ends of the pitch. They had City on the ropes for a large period of the second half, and over the whole game allowed just 1.2 non-pen xGA. Their only away game this season produced an excellent performance at Bramall Lane, and Nuno's side will fancy their chances of adding another road victory. We like their chances (44%), though goals may be scarce at the London Stadium (60% U2.5, 54% BTTS 'no') - 0-2.
Back the 0-2 @ 11.521/2
Fulham to get a point on the board
Fulham vs Aston Villa
Fulham dug themselves a hole at Elland Road by going down 4-1, before rallying and eventually winning the xG battle in a 4-3 defeat, but they still seem extremely easy to play against at this level. Arsenal made light work of them on opening day, and at some point Scott Parker will have to set his side up in a more defensive manner. Aston Villa had things go their way last Monday, with new signing Emi Martinez saving a penalty in their narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield United. Though they were playing against 10-men, Villa allowed just 0.2 non-pen xGA in a good defensive display. Issues come in attack for Dean Smith's side, who averaged just 1.1 xGF per game post-break and managed just 1.0 xGF against the 10-men of Sheff Utd, so they may struggle to exploit this Fulham defence. We think Villa will avoid defeat (59%) in London, with both sides hitting the net (56%) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 6.411/2
Reds to extend incredible home form
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Liverpool were being frustrated by Chelsea up until the red card, but the Reds were never in any danger, and there was a feeling that a goal was coming anyway for Klopp's side. In the second half, the Reds really stepped on the gas with a classy cameo of Thiago helping them break lines and create chances. So far this season, Liverpool have created 5.6 xGF while allowing 1.2 xGA against two tricky opponents, and to my eye, they look more like the team that started last season than the one that finished it. Arsenal were extremely disappointing last weekend against West Ham, failing to build on the promise of their 3-0 win at Fulham. They were out-played by the Hammers, with Arteta's side looking extremely vulnerable (2.3 xGA) and creating little of their own (1.3 xGF). When these two sides met post-break last season, Arsenal won 2-1, but they were hugely fortunate to do so having been comprehensively out-played (xG: ARS 0.8 - 2.5 LIV). Their goals on that day came from defensive errors from a Liverpool side who had already sealed the title, so expect more focus from the champs here. The Reds look good, and I like them to win here (56%), with the model expecting goals at Anfield (56% O2.5, 55% BTTS) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 11.521/2
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Infogol's Correct Score P+L
Brighton vs Manchester United: Back the 0-2 @ 10.09/1
Crystal Palace vs Everton: Back the 1-1 @ 7.26/1
West Brom vs Chelsea: Back the 1-3 @ 13.012/1
Burnley vs Southampton: Back the 2-1 @ 13.5
Sheffield United vs Leeds: Back the 1-1 @ 7.26/1
Tottenham vs Newcastle: Back the 3-1 @ 14.013/1
Manchester City vs Leicester: Back the 3-1 @ 11.521/2
West Ham vs Wolves: Back the 0-2 @ 11.521/2
Fulham vs Aston Villa: Back the 1-1 @ 6.411/2
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Back the 3-1 @ 11.521/2