Sporting Life's Jake Osgathorpe uses Infogol's expected goals (xG) model to predict the likely winners and scorelines of each match of GW36 in the Premier League...
"Tottenham were woeful last weekend against Leeds, being disappointing at both ends of the pitch and rightly losing comfortably. Their two wins under Ryan Mason have come at home, but they were an unflattering victory against Southampton and got a walk-over victory against Sheffield United."
Champs to roll on
Newcastle v Manchester City
Newcastle head into this game having lost just one of their last six, winning three, a stretch of results that have secured their safety with three games to spare. Last weeks result at Leicester was fantastic, as was the performance, as Steve Bruce's side created nearly 3.5 xGF.
The Toon have certainly taken the handbrake off in their last six matches, averaging 2.16 xGF per game in that time, and while the injury to Callum Wilson will hurt them, they have enough to notch against the Champions (55% BTTS).
Manchester City won the title on Tuesday after Manchester United lost to Leicester, that after they had failed to do it themselves against Chelsea last weekend in a 2-1 defeat. They can now cruise through the remainder of the season and rest up for the Champions League Final, though that shouldn't stop them winning matches - 1-2.
Spoils shared at Turf Moor
Burnley v Leeds
Burnley secured their safety on Monday when beating Fulham 2-0, a deserved success that relegated their opponents as a result. The Clarets have found results and performances when they needed to, but it has been their attack that has fired them to survival having averaged 1.51 xGF per game in their last 10.
Leeds were excellent against Tottenham last weekend, dominating from start to finish and the xG figures backed up their superiority (xG: LEE 2.34 - 0.97 TOT). Marcelo Bielsa's side are finishing the season strongly having won four of their last eight, losing just once.
Sean Dyche's side won't stop now they are safe though, and are fancied to get a point (63% BUR or Draw) with both teams scoring (57%) - 1-1.
Saints to hand Fulham another 'L'
Southampton v Fulham
Southampton got a rare win in midweek when beating Crystal Palace, with the return of Danny Ings the perfect tonic for Ralph Hasenhüttl's side. Their home process has remained very steady all season long (1.25 xGF, 1.26 xGA per game), which bodes well heading into this game.
Fulham were relegated on Monday when failing to beat Burnley, meaning it's another miserable Premier League campaign from the club. While many will say that finishing let them down, scoring 25 from chances equating to 41.4 xGF, a closer look at the quality of those chances show that they didn't create enough 'big chances'.
Only Sheffield United (19) have created fewer non-penalty big chances (35%+) than Fulham (21) this season. It has very much been a case of quantity over quality for Scott Parker's side and that is what has seen them relegated. Don't be surprised to see goals here, with BTTS a 53% chance, but the Saints are taken to win (47%) - 2-1.
Brighton to end Hammers' hopes
Brighton v West Ham
Brighton's safety was secured last week despite them losing at Wolves, but that was a game in which they dominated up until the sending off of Lewis Dunk. As mentioned numerous times in this column, Brighton's home process is among the Premier League's best, with results not reflecting their dominance.
West Ham have lost three of their last four, a run that has seen their top four hopes fade, and they are now looking over their shoulders. They struggled in attack against Everton last week, which is a problem, as their clinical nature has papered over defensive cracks in recent matches.
Brighton represent the third best defensive team in the entire Premier League according to xGA (1.07 per game), and are taken to thwart the Hammers in a narrow home win (43%) - 1-0.
Villa to win at Selhurst
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace lost their fourth game in five in midweek, and have won just two of 10, both against the current bottom two. Only Sheffield United have been worst in attack than Palace this season, with the Eagles averaging just 0.99 xGF per game - and an even more disappointing 0.87 at home.
Aston Villa have won one of six, but have faced Everton (twice), Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd in that time. Jack Grealish returned to the fold on Thursday, and with him in the team this season, Villa ranked as the fourth best attacking team in the league (1.84 xGF per game).
Dean Smith's side are the better of the two teams, and possess a positive xG process on the road, so are taken to win (44%) - 0-2.
Wolves to get a result in London
Tottenham v Wolves
Tottenham were woeful last weekend against Leeds, disappointing at both ends of the pitch and deservedly losing. Their two wins under Ryan Mason have come at home, but they were unflattering against Southampton and got a walk-over victory against Sheffield United.
Wolves are in town having won three of their last five, albeit against five of the current bottom six, but defensively they have been solid in that time, allowing an average of 1.06 xGA per game. The counter-attack has looked swift in that time too, so Spurs have to be wary.
Nuno has lost just one of his last four league games against Spurs, and Tottenham are stumbling to the finish this season, so Wolves are fancied to get a point in a low-scoring game (53% U2.5) - 1-1.
Reds to continue UCL charge
West Brom v Liverpool
West Brom were relegated last weekend when losing to Arsenal 3-1, but it was another positive performance from Sam Allardyce's side, who won the xG battle at the Emirates (xG: ARS 1.22 - 1.93 WBA). The Baggies have been woeful at home though, allowing 1.95 xGA per game this term.
Liverpool now have their destiny in their own hands. Win their last three games and they will finish in the top four. Their victory at Old Trafford was fully deserved, and while they did look vulnerable defensively, they looked electric in attack (xG: MUN 2.13 - 3.73 LIV).
On the road is where they have had most of their success this term, and that isn't a surprise given they have averaged 2.06 xGF and 1.36 xGA per game, so an away win is extremely likely here (63%), though BTTS is also (57%) - 1-3.
Toffees to get rare home win
Everton v Sheffield United
Everton's top four hopes are all but over, but their top six challenge is still on, with the Toffees two points behind West Ham. Carlo Ancelotti's side have been woeful at Goodison Park this term, winning five of 17 while posting a negative xGD (-3.0), so have to improve drastically.
Fortunately for Everton, they are hosting basement boys Sheffield United, who have lost 15 of 17 road games in a miserable campaign. Their -19.8 xGD away from home means they are statistically the worst travelling side in the league, and their 0.77 xGF per away game is tragically bad.
In what is a must-win game, Everton can get a first home win since March (61%), but it won't be pretty, with few goals likely (53%) and BTTS 'no' the 55% favourite according to the model - 2-0.
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