The Premier League heads into GW35 at the weekend, and Jake Osgathorpe looks at the games using expected goals (xG) to assess the likely winners and scorelines of each match...
"They were fortunate to escape the Vitality with anything (xG: BOU 1.5 – 0.7 TOT), in what was a hugely disappointing performance. That has been the case since Jose Mourinho took charge, especially in attack."
Hammers to relegate Norwich
Norwich vs West Ham
Norwich could be relegated on Saturday with a defeat, and that isn't a surprise given their performances over the course of the season. They have been the worst home team in the league (1.1 xGF, 1.9 xGA pg), meaning they face an uphill task to survive another week. West Ham were unfortunate to lose to Burnley in midweek, in what was the third straight game in which they created over 2.0 xGF. David Moyes' side are improving in attack, and should prove too strong for Norwich in a high-scoring contest (55% O2.5, 59% BTTS) - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ [9.8]
Another step to safety for Hornets
Watford vs Newcastle
Watford did their survival hopes the world of good with victory over Norwich in midweek, seeing them move three points clear of the bottom three. They have been an impressive home team since Nigel Pearson took charge (1.7 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg), which bodes well heading into this game. Newcastle were thumped 5-0 by Manchester City in midweek, ending their six game unbeaten run in which they had averaged 1.5 xGF and 1.4 xGA pg. Chances and goals at both ends are expected here (56% BTTS, 55% O2.5), in a narrow home win (52%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ [9.6]
Reds to maintain 100% home record
Liverpool vs Burnley
Liverpool moved onto 92 points with their 3-1 success over Brighton in midweek, though a draw would have been a fairer reflection of the chances in a match which Brighton actually won the xG battle (xG: BHA 2.9 - 2.7 LIV). The Reds will be looking to maintain their 100% home record here, but have looked laboured since the title was clinched. Burnley are on a sensational run of form, losing just one of their last 12 league matches (@MCI) after a 1-0 win over West Ham. That was their third 1-0 win in four matches, though they have been fortunate to keep clean-sheets in two of those. Jurgen Klopp's men should prevail here (68%), but it is fancied that Burnley will score (56% BTTS, 65% O2.5) - 2-1.
Blues to pass another test
Sheffield United vs Chelsea
Sheffield United reignited their charge for European football with seven points from their last three games, including wins over Tottenham and Wolves at Bramall Lane. They have been strong at home all season long (1.6 xGF, 1.2 xGA pg), but face a tougher test here. Chelsea moved up to third with a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace, and that is where xG suggests they should be. Their games on the road have been extremely entertaining this season (1.7 xGF, 1.5 xGA pg), and this should be no different (54% O2.5, 55% BTTS), though the Blues are taken to prevail again (52%) - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ [9.4]
Brighton to notch in defeat
Brighton vs Manchester City
Brighton gave a great account of themselves against Liverpool in midweek, racking up 2.9 xGF in defeat, the second highest total Liverpool have allowed this season. Graham Potter's side are eight points above the drop zone with four games remaining, so should be safe, and have a solid home process (1.5 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg) that suggests they can trouble City here. Manchester City bounced back from defeat a 1-0 at Southampton in emphatic style, beating Newcastle 5-0. The irony is that City generated more xG against the Saints (3.5) than against Newcastle (3.2). Pep's side have lost seven times on the road this season, but are fancied to win here (63%) in a high-scoring game (65% O2.5) in which both teams net (60% BTTS) - 1-3.
Wolves to edge out Everton
Wolves vs Everton
Wolves were beaten by Sheffield United in midweek, a result that hampered their top four hopes, leaving the seven points behind Leicester. Performances haven't been great since the restart, with Nuno's side averaging just 0.8 xGF pg despite playing three of the bottom five, though Wolves have been solid at the back (0.6 xGA pg). Everton too have struggled in attack since the break (0.9 xGF pg), and that was evident against Southampton on Thursday. It's fair to say that we aren't expecting fireworks in this one, with a 55% chance of under 2.5 goals, though Wolves are fancied to edge things (48%) - 1-0.
No win again for Villa
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace
Aston Villa were thumped by Manchester United in midweek, a 3-0 loss in which Villa looked back to their defensive worst (xG: AVL 0.5 - 2.5 MUN). That loss leaves them four points from safety after Watford's win, making this a hugely important game in their season. Crystal Palace were beaten by Chelsea in an entertaining game on Wednesday, but it was the first time they had created more than 1.5 xGF post-break. A tense affair is expected, but we should see both teams notch (57%) in another game Villa fail to win (61% CRY or Draw) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ [6.8]
Low-quality draw in NLD
Tottenham vs Arsenal
Tottenham were held by struggling Bournemouth in midweek, though according to expected goals, they were fortunate to escape the Vitality with anything (xG: BOU 1.5 - 0.7 TOT), in what was a hugely disappointing performance. That has been the case since Jose Mourinho took charge, especially in attack. Since the restart they have failed to generate over 0.75 xG on three occasions, impressing only against West Ham. Arsenal look to have turned their fortunes around after back-to-back defeats to Man City and Brighton, winning three and drawing with Leicester in midweek. The Gunners have impressed defensively in their last five games, allowing an average of just 0.8 xGA pg, and we should expect another good defensive showing here. Neither of these sides fill me with confidence in winning here, so fence sitting is the way I'm going, with both teams scoring (57%) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ [7.4]
Leicester to beat Bournemouth
Bournemouth vs Leicester
Bournemouth picked up a point against Tottenham in midweek, but were unfortunate not to get three (xG: BOU 1.5 - 0.7 TOT) in what was a much improved display from Eddie Howe's side. They will need that same level for the remaining four games if they are to have any chance of surviving. Leicester look to have steadied their ship with a win over Palace and a draw with Arsenal in midweek, but the pressure is piling on the Foxes with Man United's relentless winning form. Away from home their process is impressive (1.9 xGF, 1.3 xGA pg), and they are fancied to get the three points (52%) in a high-scoring game (61% O2.5, 61% BTTS) - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ [9.2]
United to continue rampant run
Manchester United vs Juventus
Manchester United look in imperious form at the minute, and became the first team in Premier League history to win four straight games by a 3+ goal margin after a 3-0 success over Aston Villa. Their performances since the restart have been excellent, winning the xG battle in all five games and generating an average of 2.1 xGF pg. Southampton have enjoyed themselves post-break, picking up 10 points from a possible 15 after a 1-1 draw with Everton, a game in which they were unfortunate not to win (xG: EVE 1.0 - 2.3 SOU). They will give United a much sterner test than they have faced since the restart, but Solskjaer's side should win again (65%) in another high-scoring contest (63% O2.5, 56% BTTS) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ [12.5]
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