Moyes to suffer first defeat
Sheffield United vs West Ham
Sheffield United lost back to back games over the Christmas period, albeit those defeats did come against Manchester City and Liverpool, so will be looking forward to facing a team of a similar calibre. Their process is very impressive this season (1.58 xGF, 1.43 xGA per game), and they have a great chance of bouncing back. West Ham got a much-needed win on David Moyes's return to the club, as they thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 in what was one of their best performances of the season (xG: WHU 2.40 - 0.53 BOU). Defensively over the course of the season they have been terrible (2.13 xGA per game), and Moyes's first job is to fix that, but the Hammers rear-guard will be fully tested here. Infogol sees goals at the Lane (53% O2.5, 56% BTTS), with the Blades (46%) edging a narrow contest - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.89/1
Palace to hold Arsenal
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Crystal Palace are on a decent run at the moment, and come into this game having lost just one of their last eight league matches, showing just how tough they are to beat. Process-wise, they aren't fantastic, but they possess enough of a threat on the counter-attack to hurt Arsenal. The Gunners got their first win under Mikel Arteta in their last league game, beating a below-par Manchester United in comfortable fashion, suggesting improvements are coming. He has had three league games in charge of Arsenal, rightly winning one, rightly losing one (Chelsea) and rightly drawing one (Bournemouth) according to expected goals, so we have still yet to see any consistency. While it is a small sample, their process since his arrival reads 1.39 xGF and 1.34 xGA per game - not great. We think Palace have a good chance of getting something from this game (59% CRY or Draw), with both teams scoring (57%) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 8.07/1
Narrow Chelsea win
Chelsea vs Burnley
Chelsea aren't in the best form coming into this game, winning just three of their last nine games following a draw at Brighton last time out, a game in which they were second best on xG (xG: BHA 1.91 - 1.69 CHE). They sit third in our xG table, so continue to perform well, but they have lost three of their last home games, and all to 'lesser' teams. Burnley too have been inconsistent in results and performances of late, and are on a strange run that has been repeated - lost three, won two, lost three, won two and lost three in a row. If that run continues, we will see an upset here. While they have a chance of the upset as they boast a decent process (1.41 xGF, 1.44 xGA per game), Infogol sees goals as the main play here (54% O2.5, 53% BTTS) in a narrow Chelsea win (55%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 10.09/1
Brighton to face Everton backlash
Everton vs Brighton
Everton were embarrassed last weekend in the FA Cup by Liverpool's under 12's, so need a reaction in front of their own fans, otherwise things could go from bad to worse. The Toffees in the league though, have one of the best underlying processes (1.60 xGF, 1.34 xGA per game), and if they play to that level, they will get the win here. Brighton come into this on the back of a draw with Chelsea in the league, and they have shown just how far they have come under Graham Potter. Process-wise there are still improvements needed, especially defensively (1.90 xGA per game), so we can expect goals at Goodison Park (56% O2.5, 54% BTTS), but the feeling is that Everton will take advantage of the poor Brighton backline to get a much-needed win (57%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.617/2
Foxes to prevail in entertaining clash
Leicester vs Southampton
Leicester have bounced-back well following successive defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool, swatting both West Ham and Newcastle aside in recent weeks to remain second. Their attack is now fully clicking (2.02 xGF per game), but we are starting to see some vulnerabilities in defence (1.34 xGA per game). Southampton had a great Christmas period, picking up 10 points from four games including wins against Chelsea and Tottenham. They sit fifth in our xG table, so are doing a lot right, but gaps are still there defensively (1.73 xGA per game). We forecast goals at the King Power (66% O2.5, BTTS 63%), with Leicester winning again (57%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 13.5
United to get much-needed win
Manchester United vs Norwich
Manchester United lost their last Premier League game to Arsenal, a game in which they were extremely disappointing, as they continue to show no consistency. Over the course of the season, their underlying numbers have been pretty good (1.82 xGF, 1.23 xGA per game), and should have enough to cause Norwich all sorts of problems. That is because Norwich's defensive process is terrible (1.99 xGA per game), and is the main reason why the Canaries are rock bottom of the table. Daniel Farke's side will likely score against this porous United backline (54% BTTS), and we can see a high-scoring game (61% O2.5) in a United win (69%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 12.011/1
Wolves too strong for Toon
Wolves vs Newcastle
Wolves have lost their last two league games, but were unfortunate to get beat at Watford (xG: WAT 0.84 - 1.42 WOL), as they continue to perform to high-levels. They sit fourth in our xG table after 21 games, with a process that is at the same level as last season (1.67 xGF, 1.37 xGA per game), meaning they won't drop-off anytime soon. Newcastle are on a three-match losing-streak heading into this game, and we expected a drop-off from Steve Bruce's side, as they rate as the worst team in the league on xG. Defensively they are extremely poor (1.98 xGA per game), and Wolves can take full advantage in a high-scoring game (60% O2.5, 51% BTTS), as the hosts get the win (68%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.417/2
Reds to assert dominance once again
Tottenham vs Liverpool
Tottenham have won one of their last four league games coming into this one, following a 1-0 defeat at Southampton, a game which saw a poor performance and a costly injury for Harry Kane. In their last five league games under Jose Mourinho, Spurs's process has been really poor (1.07 xGF, 1.14 xGA per game), and with no Kane, it's difficult to make a case for Spurs to lay a glove on Liverpool here. Liverpool have been sensational all season, but especially recently, as they have won their last five league games to nil, allowing an average of just 0.49 xGA per game in that time. Their stingy defence is back, and their attack is still frightening (2.18 xGF per game). The goal markets for this game are ridiculous, with BTTS and Over 2.5 goals extremely short, however, Infogol thinks this will be a low-scoring game (49% O2.5, 49% BTTS), with Liverpool to win (50%) to nil again - 0-2.
Back the 0-2 @ 10.519/2
Bournemouth to win six-pointer
Bournemouth vs Watford
One of the bigger games of the weekend, as two teams in the bottom three face off. Bournemouth have won just one of their last league 10 games, which is why they have slumped into the relegation zone, with their process also poor (1.23 xGF, 1.78 xGA per game). Their two best performances according to expected goals of late have come against Chelsea and Arsenal, and they need to step up in this big game. Watford have picked up 10 points from their last four games, enjoying a great Christmas period, but they are still in the relegation zone. Nigel Pearson has rejuvenated the Hornets, but their worst performance since his arrival came away at Sheffield United (xG: SHU 2.49 - 0.59 WAT), and all of their wins have come at home. We are still working with a small sample under Pearson, so it is hard to know what to expect, but we see an entertaining game here (58% O2.5, 60% BTTS) with Bournemouth edging proceedings (46%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 11.010/1
Easy win for City
Aston Villa vs Manchester City
Aston Villa beat Burnley last time out, though they were fortunate to get the win after another poor defensive performance (xG: BUR 2.46 - 1.48 AST). They rank as the worst defensive team in the league according to expected goals (2.33 xGA per game), which is a huge worry heading into this match. Manchester City's performances over Christmas were far from impressive according to expected goals, far from their high standards. They looked much better against Manchester United in midweek in the Carabao Cup, and will be too strong for Villa here. The goal line is very high in this game, with Infogol calculating a 48% chance of over 3.5 goals, so Villa will keep it somewhat respectable in a comfortable City win (76%) - 0-3.
Back the 0-3 @ 9.08/1
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