Toffees to add to Palace woes
Everton vs Crystal Palace
Everton beat Watford last weekend in the face of adversity, as they went 2-0 down and then had a man sent off with the score at 2-2, but according to expected goals, a win was what they deserved (xG: WAT 0.88 - 2.82 EVE). That was the fourth straight game in which the Toffees generated over 2.00 xGF, and their process under Carlo Ancelotti is impressive (2.18 xGF, 1.31 xGA per game). That win moved them up to ninth, and means they are only four points behind fifth placed Spurs. Crystal Palace are winless in six after another poor display against Sheffield United, another game in which they struggled to create. Their process all season long has been that of a team we would expect to see in a relegation battle (1.05 xGF, 1.72 xGA per game), and we expect them to lose again here (65% EVE win), though we expect them to get on the scoresheet (51% BTTS) in a high-scoring game (57% O2.5) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.89/1
Brighton to edge six-point thriller
Brighton vs Watford
Brighton came from 3-1 down to get a point at West Ham last weekend, though based on expected goals they were unfortunate to come away with only a point, as they created by far the better chances in the match (xG: WHU 1.28 - 2.30 BHA). Graham Potter's side have won the xG battle in six of their last seven games, but have only picked up six points, so the performances have been good. Watford were rightly beaten by Everton last weekend, their second straight league defeat, and while their process has improved under Nigel Pearson (1.71 xGF, 1.61 xGA per game), they remain defensively vulnerable. Both of these sides create plenty of chances in matches, but are weak at the back as a result, so the Infogol model thinks there will be goals here (63% BTTS, 64% O2.5) in a home win (50%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 10.519/2
Cherries to be picked off
Sheffield United vs Bournemouth
Sheffield United moved back up to sixth with a win over Crystal Palace, another solid display from Chris Wilder's side, though they were helped by a goalkeeping howler. They are slightly fortunate to sit sixth, but have performed like a top half team, and their process at Bramall Lane is very impressive (1.75 xGF, 1.24 xGA per game). Bournemouth have had a good couple of weeks, beating both Brighton and Aston Villa to move out of the drop zone. The difference in those two performances to the previous 12 matches; the handbrake was taken off. They created more chances than they had in previous games (2.33 xGF per game last two), but as a result they also conceded more (2.21 xGA per game last two), which is what we have come to expect from a gung-ho Bournemouth team since their promotion to the Premier League. We think Bournemouth will adopt the same tactics again here, which should mean chances and goals at both ends (56% BTTS, 54% O2.5), in a home win (45%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.89/1
West Ham to face City backlash
Manchester City vs West Ham
Manchester City somehow lost to Tottenham last weekend, despite allowing only three shots equating to 0.29 xGA, and racking up over 3 xGF themselves. We calculate that they would have won this game 91% of the time, showing just how unfortunate they were, and that has been the story of their season. Pep Guardiola's side have won the xG battle in 23 of their 25 matches, so at the very least are unfortunate not to be in a title race with Liverpool. Their process this season is excellent (2.91 xGF, 1.13 xGA per game), and they are the runaway leaders in non-penalty big chances created (64) this season, which doesn't bode well for a West Ham team who are joint-worst in non-pen big chances conceded (54). The Hammers haven't seen any upturn in form or performances since David Moyes' appointment, as their major defensive issues remain the same, allowing over 1.90 xGA in all of their last five games. They have conceded an average of 2.36 xGA per game in that time, and it is hard to make a case for West Ham keeping City out here - it looks more like a question of how many. Infogol gives a huge 83% chance of over 2.5 goals, a massive 66% chance of over 3.5 goals and a 47% chance of over 4.5 goals. We calculate an 88% chance of a City win - 5-0.
Back the 5-0 @ 13.012/1
Visit infogol.net and get all of our football tips