The Premier League heads into GW34 in midweek, and Jake Osgathorpe looks at the games using expected goals (xG) to assess the likely winners and scorelines of each match...
"Spurs have won just three games away from home all season long (WHU, WOL, AVL), posting an xGD of -8.6 on their travels."
Another win for Chelsea
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
Crystal Palace were heavily beaten by Leicester at the weekend, another game in which they conceded plenty of good chances to a strong team (vs Liverpool). They have issues at the back (1.6 xGA pg), but do pose a threat on the counter attack and from set-pieces, so can trouble Chelsea. The Blues were emphatic winners against Watford, bouncing back from a poor display against West Ham. Though their away results have been good this season, their process on the road has been marginally above average (1.6 xGF, 1.5 xGA pg). Lampard should see his side win (61%), in a high-scoring game (54% O2.5) in which both teams score (52%) - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ [9.8]
Narrow win for Hornets
Watford vs Norwich
Watford were poor yet again at the weekend, losing 3-0 to Chelsea, but will be glad that this crucial game takes place at Vicarage Road. Nigel Pearson's side have been markedly better at home than away since his arrival (1.8 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg). Norwich were woeful again at the weekend, failing to lay a glove on Brighton in another tame attacking display. They have now failed to score in eight of their last nine league games, which isn't a surprise when we look at their process (1.1 xGF, 1.9 xGA pg). Watford should edge to an important win here (52%), though don't expect fireworks in a narrow home win - 1-0.
Back the 1-0 @ [7.6]
Foxes to edge to Emirates win
Arsenal vs Leicester
Arsenal were very impressive in their victory over Wolves at the weekend, more so defensively, with it appearing as though Mikel Arteta has made them more solid at the back and hard to beat. However, that has occurred in only a small sample size, so more information is needed before we start steering away from their underlying numbers across the season to recent matches. They have struggled in attack though, carving out very few big chances regularly since Arteta took charge (1.4 xGF pg). Leicester looked back to their best against Crystal Palace at the weekend, brushing them aside with relative ease thanks to a high-intensity performance. Though they are winless away from home since New Years' Day, the Foxes boast the second-best process away from home in the league this season (2.0 xGF, 1.3 xGA pg). The Infogol model disagrees with the market as two who should be favourite for this game, suggesting Leicester have a 42% chance of winning in a high-scoring game (57% O2.5, 60% BTTS) at the Emirates - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ [12.5]
City to bounce back in style
Manchester City vs Newcastle
Somehow Manchester City didn't score at the weekend against Southampton, despite generating chances equating to 3.5 xGF. That has happened all too often this season, and is one of the main reasons they will finish the season so far behind Liverpool. At home they put up monstrous numbers (2.7 xGF, 0.8 xGA pg), and should do so again. Newcastle are unbeaten in six league games after a 2-2 draw with West Ham, and there has been a more attack-minded approach taken in those games. They are likely to get heavily beaten again here, the model thinks it's more likely than not that they will get on the scoresheet (51% BTTS) in a high-scoring (57% O3.5) home win (84%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ [12.5]
Bounce back win for Wolves
Sheffield United vs Wolves
Sheffield United played out a very fair 1-1 draw with Burnley at the weekend, though dropped to 9th after wins for Arsenal and Tottenham, meaning their European hopes are slipping away. That mid-table position is where Infogol expects the Blades to be based on performances this season, so it's no surprise to see them in that spot now with a negative process (1.3 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg). Wolves were surprisingly beaten by Arsenal at the weekend in what was an uncharacteristically laboured performance. That defeat coupled with wins for Leicester, Chelsea and Man Utd means they are now five points behind fourth, making this a must win. On the road they have been excellent this season (1.6 xGF, 1.1 xGA pg), and they are fancied to edge a tight game at Bramall Lane (49%), in a low-scoring game (56% U2.5) - 0-1.
Back the 0-1 @ [6.4]
Cagey draw at London Stadium
West Ham vs Burnley
West Ham gained another point in their battle for survival, drawing with Newcastle in a game they deserved to win according to xG (xG: NEW 1.3 - 2.3 WHU). They are now four points clear of the drop zone, and will see this as a decent opportunity to move further clear. Burnley have lost only one of their 11 league games (5-0 @ MCI) so are a team extremely tough to beat, and they played out a fair 1-1 draw with Sheffield United at the weekend. The Infogol model can't split these two, giving both a 38% chance of winning, so fence sitting is the way to play this one, though we think both teams will net (60% BTTS) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ [7.4]
Another unconvincing Liverpool win
Brighton vs Liverpool
Brighton moved themselves nine points clear of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over Norwich at the weekend, meaning they are in a strong position with five games remaining. They have impressed at home this season (1.5 xGF, 1.3 xGA pg) and won't make this easy for the champions. Liverpool were extremely laboured against Aston Villa last time out, edging to a 2-0 success in unconvincing fashion (xG: LIV 0.8 - 0.7 AVL). They should get another win here (52%) but it won't be easy, with Brighton expected to get on the scoresheet (55% BTTS) in a high-scoring game (54% O2.5) - 1-2.
Back the @ [9.2]
A surprise point for the Cherries
Bournemouth vs Tottenham
Bournemouth gave a good account of themselves at Old Trafford at the weekend in what was a much more promising display, as they racked up 1.9 xGF, only to concede five goals to a clinical United side (2.5 xG). The Cherries need points desperately, but there are signs that they are getting closer to that, and they are a much better team at home than on the road (1.3 xGF, 1.6 xGA pg). Tottenham bounced back from an away defeat at Sheffield United to beat Everton in unconvincing fashion, as they once again struggled to create good chances (xG: TOT 0.7 - 0.5 EVE). Spurs have won just three games away from home all season long (WHU, WOL, AVL), posting an xGD of -8.6 on their travels. The model thinks Bournemouth can avoid defeat here (61% BOU or Draw) in a game which both teams score (62% BTTS) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ [8.4]
Everton to bounce back
Everton vs Southampton
Everton suffered their first defeat since the break on Monday, losing 1-0 at Tottenham in what was a good defensive display (0.7 xGA) but a surprisingly poor attacking performance (0.5 xGF). Their process at Goodison has been good all season long (1.7 xGF, 1.3 xGA pg), and is expected to be so again in this game. Southampton got extremely fortunate against Manchester City at the weekend, allowing chances equating to 3.5 xGA but managing to keep a clean sheet. It was three points nonetheless, and their third win in four since the break, though performances haven't warranted those successes. Their away record is decent this season (8W, 2D, 6L), but they are defensively vulnerable on their travels (1.6 xGA pg) and should be exposed here. Infogol gives Everton a 61% chance of winning a high-scoring game (62% O2.5, 58% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ [10.0]
No stopping Man Utd charge
Aston Villa vs Manchester United
Aston Villa weren't bad against Liverpool on Sunday, holding the champions to just 0.8 xG, and have in fact impressed in this area since the restart (0.8 xGA pg). That improvement hasn't helped with results though, with two draws and three defeats leaving them a point from safety. At home this season they have been a potent attacking team (1.5 xGF pg), but have been very poor at the back (2.0 xGA pg). Manchester United have won three and drawn one since the break, with that run extending to six wins in an unbeaten nine league games. They have begun creating better chances on a regular basis, something they struggled with earlier in the season, and that bodes well with five games remaining, and ahead of this game. United should win (60%) in another high-scoring game involving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side (60% O2.5, 56% BTTS) - 1-3.
Back the 1-3 @ [13.0]
Just in time for the return of Premier League action, Infogol has improved its website and free app with; a cleaner look, More prominent xG features, Enhanced Form Guide and Over/Under % chance. Check them out at infogol.net
Infogol's 19/20 Correct Score P+L
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea: Back the 1-2 @ [9.8]
Watford vs Norwich: Back the 1-0 @ [7.6]
Arsenal vs Leicester: Back the 1-2 @ [12.5]
Manchester City vs Newcastle: Back the 3-1 @ [12.5]
Sheffield United vs Wolves: Back the 0-1 @ [6.4]
West Ham vs Burnley: Back the 1-1 @ [7.4]
Brighton vs Liverpool: Back the 1-2 @ [9.2]
Bournemouth vs Tottenham: Back the 1-1 @ [8.4]
Everton vs Southampton: Back the 2-1 @ [10.0]
Aston Villa vs Manchester United: Back the 1-3 @ [13.0]