The Premier League season nears its end with GW37 taking place over the next week. Jake Osgathorpe looks at the games from Saturday through Monday using expected goals (xG) to assess the likely winners and scorelines of each match...
"Tottenham have got results since the break, having lost just once, but performances continue to underwhelm on both the eye test and the underlying numbers. That has been the case since Mourinho took over, with Spurs sitting 10th in our xG table since his arrival (1.5 xGF, 1.5 xGA pg)."
Yet another defeat for Norwich
Norwich vs Burnley
Norwich were relegated last weekend after another tame performance against West Ham, and following that up with another defeat at Chelsea. They have been shocking for some time now, and possess the worst home xG process in the league (1.1 xGF, 2.0 xGA pg). Burnley snatched a late point against Wolves, meaning they are unbeaten in six, and Sean Dyche's side have lost only once in 14 league games (@ MCI). They have averaged 1.4 xGF per game this season, and are playing with tenacity and aggression as you would expect, so should beat a sorry Norwich side (46%) in a narrow win - 0-1.
Back the 0-1 @ 8.88/1
Entertaining draw at Vitality
Bournemouth vs Southampton
Bournemouth have impressed in their last four games, and have been unfortunate to have collected only four points from those matches, as they went to the Etihad and won the xG battle against City (xG: MCI 0.6 - 1.9 BOU). They have averaged 2.0 xGF in games against Man Utd, Spurs, Leicester and City which is impressive, so they are having a go, though it could be too little too late. Southampton have been excellent since the restart, losing just once, and they continue their excellent away form by winning the xG battle in all four road trips since the restart. On the road their games tend to see chances at both ends (1.6 xGF, 1.6 xGA pg), and this should be no different, in a high-scoring draw (63% O2.5, 64% BTTS) - 2-2.
Back the 2-2 @ 14.013/1
Spurs and Foxes to share the spoils
Tottenham vs Leicester
Tottenham have got results since the break, having lost just once, but performances continue to underwhelm on both the eye test and the underlying numbers. That has been the case since Mourinho took over, with Spurs sitting 10th in our xG table since his arrival (1.5 xGF, 1.5 xGA pg). Leicester were excellent against Sheffield United last time out, but have struggled greatly on the road of late, picking up nine points from their last 10 away matches, though their process has been good in that period (1.6 xGF, 1.5 xGA pg). In what is a huge game for both, we expect goals and an open football match (59% O2.5, 61% BTTS), but its hard to select a winner with question marks around both - 2-2.
Back the 2-2 @ 16.015/1
Brighton to win and secure safety
Brighton vs Newcastle
Brighton have all but secured their Premier League status with a 1-1 draw at Southampton, as that point means they are six points above Aston Villa and Bournemouth with only two games to play and a superior goal difference. A result here would make it mathematically certain, and they have been good at the Amex this season (1.5 xGF, 1.6 xGA pg). Newcastle have lost three in a row after a 3-1 loss at home to Spurs, and really have nothing to play for, though they do keep finding a way to create and score. Away from home they have been tragic defensively (2.0 xGA pg), and it is Brighton who are taken to win (54%) in a high-scoring game (61% O2.5, 60% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.417/2
Blades to register another home win
Sheffield United vs Everton
Sheffield United were very poor at Leicester, and Chris Wilder was scathing in his assessment of the performance, so expect a reaction here. They have won all three of their home games since the restart, beating Tottenham, Wolves and Chelsea, and over the course of the season they boast one of the best home processes in the league (1.7 xGF, 1.2 xGA pg). Everton look to have their sandals on, as they haven't turned up post-break, especially in attack, with the Toffees averaging 0.9 xGF per game, a far cry from the 2.0 xGF per game they were averaging under Ancelotti pre-break. Defensively they haven't shown up on the road post break (1.4 xGA pg), and I think the Blades will prevail here, in what could turn into a high-scoring game (52% O2.5, 56% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.617/2
Wolves to win as Palace fail to score
Wolves vs Crystal Palace
Wolves were held by Burnley in midweek after a late penalty, and that draw has ended their Champions League hopes, with them now in a battle for Europa League qualification. Their last home game was an emphatic win over Everton (xG: WOL 3.2 - 0.3 EVE), and over the course of the season they have been strong at Molineux (1.8 xGF, 1.0 xGA pg). Crystal Palace are a bit like Everton, they have the sandals on ready for the beach, with defeat against Manchester United their sixth straight loss, and they have been poor in all six games. Palace have scored twice in that stretch, really struggling in attack, and that should continue here, with the model calculating a 58% chance of at least one of these teams failing to score. Wolves should win though (69%) - 2-0.
Back the 2-0 @ 6.611/2
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