Watford to beat Villa
Aston Villa vs Watford
Aston Villa earned what could prove a crucial point away at Brighton at the weekend, though they again conceded good chances (xG: BHA 1.44 - 1.17 AST). They rank as the second worst team in the league on xG, and have the title of 'Premier League's worst defence' according to xG, allowing an average of 2.33 xGA per game. Watford and Tottenham somehow shared a goalless draw at the weekend, with decent chances at both ends in a game which Watford had the better opportunities (xG: WAT 2.47 - 1.86 TOT). The improvements under Nigel Pearson have been excellent in both attack and defence, and they will continue to pick up points, starting here. Infogol makes Watford favourites (39%) to win this, with goals (58% O2.5, 61% BTTS) expected - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ 11.010/1
No respite for Cherries
Bournemouth vs Brighton
Bournemouth's loss at Norwich was their 10th in 12 league matches, and it was a deserved defeat (xG: NOR 1.74 - 0.87 BOU) to a relegation rival. The Cherries have averaged 0.90 xGF per game in that time, and have allowed 1.80 xGA per game, so really are performing like a team we would expect to see relegated. Brighton are in danger of being dragged into the relegation battle, and were held by Aston Villa at the weekend, meaning they are now just three points above the drop zone. Graham Potters side haven't been great in recent weeks, but they have been much better than Bournemouth over the course of the season, sitting 10th in our xG table. Even with home-field advantage, it's hard to make a case for Bournemouth winning here, but we do see both teams scoring (58%), so fence sitting is the way to go - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 7.26/1
Saints to get back to winning ways
Crystal Palace vs Southampton
Crystal Palace continue to be stubborn, and picked up a point at Manchester City last weekend, meaning they have lost just one of their last 10 league games. They were fortunate in that game though, as City created a host of chances (xG: MCI 2.82 - 0.95 CRY), with Palace's goal living a charmed life all season long (26 conceded, 41.3 xGA). Southampton were rightly beaten by Wolves at the weekend, a defeat that ended their five match unbeaten run. They have been excellent all season long according to expected goals, sitting 7th in our xG table, and boast as strong attacking process (1.63 xGF per game) that can trouble Palace's vulnerable defence (1.80 xGA per game). We expect goals here (57% O2.5, 59% BTTS), but fancy the Saints to get the win (45%) - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ 12.011/1
Toffees to win again at home
Everton vs Newcastle
Everton were held by West Ham last time out and, but the Toffees were unfortunate not to come away with a win according to expected goals (xG: WHU 1.48 - 2.07 EVE). Their process since Carlo Ancelotti's arrival (2.08 xGF, 1.42 xGA per game) has been good, especially in attack, so are expected to trouble Newcastle. Steve Bruce's side were incredibly fortunate to win yet again, this time against Chelsea (xG: NEW 1.03 - 2.37 CHE). Newcastle sit bottom of our xG table, and have the worst attack (0.97 xGF per game) and third worst defence (2.00 xGA per game) in the league according to xG, so it is only a matter of time before results start reflecting their performances. We expect goals in this one (61% O2.5, 52% BTTS), but think Everton will prevail (68%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 16.015/1
Nervy City win
Sheffield United vs Manchester City
Sheffield United earned a good point at the Emirates last weekend, a game in which they actually created the better of the chances according to xG. Their process this season has been excellent (1.60 xGF, 1.41 xGA per game), and they actually won the xG battle against Manchester City in the reverse fixture (xG: MCI 0.96 - 1.44 SHU), so will be no pushovers. Manchester City were extremely unfortunate not to get all three points against Crystal Palace, and that has been the story of their season. They sit top of our xG table based on performances, yet are 16 points behind Liverpool. Defensively is where they have struggled this season, allowing a lot of non-penalty big chances (28), so we think both teams will score here (55%) in a high-scoring (63% O2.5), narrow away win (67%) - 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ 9.28/1
Chelsea to do double over Arsenal
Chelsea vs Arsenal
The big game on Tuesday sees Chelsea take on Arsenal, two teams that aren't in the best of form. Chelsea were unlucky to lose to Newcastle at the weekend (xG: NEW 1.03 - 2.37 CHE), but that was their sixth defeat in 11 league games. Process wise, they remain the third best team in the league (2.08 xGF, 1.27 xGA per game) according to xG, and do create chances, which is a big worry to Arsenal. Mikel Arteta's reign as Arsenal manager is yet to take off, as they have now won just one of his first five league games in charge, and they were second best on xG to Sheffield United last time out (xG: ARS 1.22 - 1.54 ARS). Their defence has been improving, but not enough to suggest they can keep Chelsea out in this game, so we see goals at the Bridge (54% O2.5, 56% BTTS) in a home win (55%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.28/1
Foxes back to winning ways
Leicester vs West Ham
Leicester are having a wobble at the moment, with an undeserved defeat at Burnley (xG: BUR 1.53 - 2.40 LEI) their fourth loss in six games. Two of those defeats did come against the two best teams in the league (MCI, LIV), but the performance against Burnley wasn't too concerning. They continue to create good chances (1.98 xGF per game), and will create opportunities in this game. West Ham were held by Everton in their last game, another match in which they allowed a host of chances (xG: WHU 1.48 - 2.07 EVE). They still sit third bottom of our xG table, and possess the second worst defensive record in the league according to xG, allowing 2.12 xGA per game. The Hammers are vulnerable, and we think goals will be on the cards (70% O2.5, 60% BTTS) in a home win (68%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 13.5
A win and a clean sheet for Spurs
Tottenham vs Norwich
Tottenham have won just one of their last six league games, failing to score in four of those, so they are really struggling right now. Spurs were fortunate to avoid defeat at Watford at the weekend (xG: WAT 2.47 - 1.86 TOT), as they again conceded plenty of opportunities. Over the course of the season, Tottenham have performed like a bottom-half team according to xG, with a negative process (1.44 xGF, 1.52 xGA per game) - they desperately need a win here. Norwich picked up a huge win against fellow strugglers Bournemouth (xG: NOR 1.74 - 0.87 BOU), meaning they are now just six points from safety. Over the course of the season though, their process has been very poor in both attack (1.17 xGF per game) and defence (1.99 xGA per game), so aren't expected to give much of a challenge to Spurs here. We think this will be a low-scoring game (52%), and don't fancy both teams to hit the net (50% BTTS) in a Spurs win (61%) - 2-0.
Back the 2-0 @ 9.28/1
Depleted United to get narrow win
Manchester United vs Burnley
Manchester United put up a decent fight at Anfield, but ultimately suffered a deserved defeat (xG: LIV 2.11 - 1.22 MUN), though they remain fifth and just five points behind Chelsea. Their process is decent this season (1.85 xGF, 1.23 xGA per game), but their squad is depleted after more injuries, mainly to Marcus Rashford who will be a big miss. Burnley ended a four-match losing streak with victory over Leicester, but they were fortunate to get that win. That result eased some relegation fears, and that is fair, as according to expected goals, Sean Dyche's side have been the 11th best team in the league this season. The Clarets will be competitive here, and we see both teams scoring (56%) in a high-scoring game (61% O2.5) in which United narrowly prevail (62%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.617/2
Wolves to hold Liverpool
Wolves vs Liverpool
Wolves picked up a huge three points at Southampton at the weekend, and it was a fully deserved win according to expected goals (xG: SOU 0.83 - 2.45 WOL). They moved up to sixth with that win, and are now just five points behind Chelsea, with them sitting fourth in our xG table with an excellent process (1.72 xGF, 1.30 xGA per game). Let's not forget, they have already done the double over Manchester City and pushed Liverpool close at Anfield in a narrow loss, so shouldn't be written off. Liverpool extended their unbelievable record to 21-1-0 with a deserved win over Manchester United, as they show no sign of slowing down. They did relinquish control of the game late on as United rallied, and that is something we have seen a lot of late in matches against Wolves, Tottenham and United, and sooner or later they will concede a goal that will see them drop points - that could be in this game. We think Wolves will end Liverpool's clean-sheet run (55% BTTS), and think the hosts can hold the marauding Reds to a point (57% WOL or draw) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 8.27/1
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