Cherries to face Liverpool backlash
Liverpool vs Bournemouth
Saturday, 12:30 GMT
Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend at Watford, and boy was it a thumping, not only with the scoreline, but on xG too (xG: WAT 2.19 - 0.30 WAT). The Reds are expected to bounce back though, and they need to ahead of their Champions League 2nd leg against Atletico Madrid. Bournemouth gained an invaluable point against Chelsea last weekend, though again conceded a host of chances, the fourth time in five league games in which they have allowed over 2 xGA. The Cherries could face a backlash here, though we think they will score as there has been an upturn in attacking process (54% BTTS), with plenty of goals expected (74% O2.5) in a Liverpool win (80%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 12.5
Hammers to thwart Gunners
Arsenal vs West Ham
Arsenal were fortunate to get a win over Everton last time out, another game in which they conceded a host of chances, something they have done regularly since Mikel Arteta took over, with their overall process really disappointing (1.40 xGF, 1.70 xGA per game). West Ham threw a curveball of a performance in last weekend against Southampton, a match in which they created plenty (3.12 xGF) and conceded few (0.86 xGA) chances. Playing against a high-line in this game will suit them given the pace they possess on the counter-attack, and while they will concede, we think they have a good chance to get something from the game (44% WHU or Draw), which should be high-scoring (63% BTTS, 65% O2.5) - 2-2.
Back the 2-2 @ 17.016/1
Cagey draw at Selhurst
Crystal Palace vs Watford
Palace have moved clear of the relegation zone following back-to-back 1-0 wins over Newcastle and Brighton, both games in which they have out-created their opponents - an unusual feeling for Palace. They have been poor on the whole this season though (1.12 xGF, 1.73 xGA per game). Watford got that sensational win over Liverpool last weekend, a brilliant performance and one which they could do with replicating over the rest of the season. They are unfortunate to be in a relegation battle this season, ranking as the 12th best team in the league on xG with a much better process than Palace (1.45 xGF, 1.69 xGA per game). We think both teams will hit the net here (58% BTTS), but I find it difficult to find a winner here, so am happy to sit on the fence with a draw - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 6.86/1
Blades to beat tired Canaries
Sheffield United vs Norwich
Sheffield United had a week off last weekend, and saw only Wolves of the teams around them pick up a win. That leaves the door open for them to close the gap on the top four, and that will be their aim as they take on bottom side Norwich. The Blades have a solid process (1.59 xGF, 1.45 xGA per game), and were unfortunate not to get the win against Brighton last time out, so have to be fancied to get the win here (54%). Norwich had a sensational week, beating Leicester 1-0 in the league before ousting Tottenham in the FA Cup on penalties. It has been a taxing week in terms of expending energy, but they have looked much livelier in attack of late. We think both teams will score (52%) in a high-scoring game (52% O2.5) in which the hosts get a big win - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.417/2
Saints to register another home win
Southampton vs Newcastle
Southampton were disappointing against West Ham last weekend, rightly losing, but prior to that they had just put on their best home display of the season to date in a 2-0 win over Aston Villa (xG: SOU 3.24 - 0.42 AST). They have ranked as the 13th best home team in the league this season on xG, so are unfortunate to have only collected 14 points. Newcastle shared a goalless draw with Burnley last weekend, meaning they have won just one of 10 league games. They continue to prop up the league in terms of xG, with the leagues worst process (0.98 xGF, 2.00 xGA per game). I think Saints will prove too strong here and get a win (64%), though goals are expected (57% BTTS, 63% O2.5) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.28/1
Wolves to pile pressure on Brighton
Wolves vs Brighton
Wolves got a huge win at Tottenham last weekend, and a deserved one too according to expected goals, a win that moved them to within three points of fourth placed Chelsea. Nuno's side have impressed greatly over the course of the season, sitting fourth in our xG table with a very good process (1.84 xGF, 1.29 xGA per game). Brighton remain without a win in 2020 following a defeat against Crystal Palace last weekend, another game in which they squandered chances, something they have been doing all season long (32 goals, 43.9 xGF). Defensively they remain vulnerable (1.85 xGA per game), so I think Wolves will have too much for them and register another win (63%), but goals are on the cards here (58% BTTS, 63% O2.5) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 16.5
Burnley to make Mou more miserable
Burnley vs Tottenham
Burnley extended their good run of form to six games unbeaten following a goalless draw with Newcastle, a game devoid of any big chances. That was their fourth clean-sheet in this 14-point stretch, as the Clarets are playing really well at the moment. Sean Dyche's side sit above Spurs in our xG table, with a process that is better (1.44 xGF, 1.57 xGA per game), so we fancy their chances here. Tottenham have had a really bad few weeks, losing twice in the league to direct rivals, being knocked out of the FA Cup by Norwich and losing the first leg of the Champions League tie with RB Leipzig. Their defensive process is what has suffered in recent games, allowing 2.25 xGA per game in their last six in the league, so are very easy to play against at the moment. This is expected to be another difficoult game for an under-manned Spurs side, who also have one eye on their second leg with RBL on Tuesday, so I think the Clarets should be favourites to win here (41%) in a high-scoring game (59% BTTS, 57% O2.5) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 11.521/2
Toffees to extend Chelsea bad run
Chelsea vs Everton
Chelsea were held by Bournemouth last weekend, extending their recent form to just one win in six league games, with three 2-2 draws in that time. They have been unfortunate in most of those games though according to expected goals, but defensively they continue to be vulnerable. Everton were unfortunate yet again last weekend, as they followed up an underserved 3-2 defeat to Arsenal with a 1-1 draw with Manchester United - though they created much the better chances in both. Carlo Ancelotti's side have now generated more than 2 xGF in all of their last seven games, and have the best attacking process in the entire Premier League since Don Carlo's arrival (2.32 xGF per game). They will cause Chelsea problems here, and we see this as a very entertaining game with chances and goals at both ends (59% BTTS, 58% O2.5), and we think the Toffees will avoid defeat (53%) - 2-2.
Back the 2-2 @ 15.5
United to take something from City again
Manchester United vs Manchester City
This Manchester derby has a different feel to previous years, as United come into this seemingly having City's number, winning two of their three meetings so far this season. Ole's side come into this game on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions, keeping seven clean-sheets in that time, so appear to be purring. Their record against the better teams this season has been excellent also, losing just one of 10 games against the current top 10, picking up 18 points. They are improving, and Bruno Fernandes has had a very impressive impact, but need to play in the same manner as last time: defensively, with a view to counter-attack. Going toe-to-toe won't end well. City won the season's first piece of silverware last weekend, beating Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final, and have in fact won three straight in three different competitions since their last league game. They have been impressive of late for sure, but defensively they are still vulnerable, especially in Aymeric Laporte's absence. I think they will find it difficult to breakdown what is looking like a more stubborn United defence, and they have to be wary of the counter-attack, but both teams to score looks likely (61% BTTS), as UnIted avoid defeat (46%) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 9.08/1
Foxes to get back to winning ways
Leicester vs Aston Villa
Leicester are having a wobble, there is no two ways about it. The Foxes were beaten by Norwich last weekend, meaning they have now won just one of their last seven league games, losing four of those. Such has been the consistency of the teams below them, they still have an eight-point cushion to fifth, but they need to increase their levels again if they are to finish in the top four. Fortunately for Leicester, they play Aston Villa here, who are ranked as the second worst team in the league on xG. Dean Smith's side have by far and away the worst defensive process in the league, allowing 2.45 xGA per game this season, allowing over 2.80 xG in their last three league matches. It's a big game for both sides, but goals should flow at the King Power (59% BTTS, 72% O2.5), but Leicester should get a much-needed win (73%) - 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ 10.519/2
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