Wolves to hold Chelsea
Wolves vs Chelsea
Wolves have lost their last two coming into this, but were unfortunate to come away empty handed against Aston Villa last time out (xG: WOL 1.5 – 1.4 AVL). While Wolves’ recent results aren’t fantastic, at Molineux their underlying process is very solid (1.4 xGF, 1.1 xGA per game). Chelsea were beaten for the first time since gameweek two at Everton last weekend, really struggling to create scoring chances. That has been the case on the road this term, averaging 1.4 xGF per game away from Stamford Bridge, so I can see them struggling to create again here. Calculating a 52% chance of under 2.5 goals and a 57% chance of Wolves avoiding defeat, I’m going with a low-scoring draw – 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 8.415/2
Comfortable City win
Manchester City vs West Brom
Manchester City contributed to a very dull Manchester derby at the weekend, struggling to break down United regularly, although the Blues did look very solid at the back. That has been a shift we have seen this season, with City’s attacking process (1.7 xGF pg) severely down on last season (2.7 xGF pg), while their defence has improved. West Brom are the worst team in the Premier League based on expected goals, ranking as the worst attacking unit (0.7 xGF pg) and the worst defensive side (2.0 xGA pg). Manchester City are extremely short to win here, with Infogol making hem whopping 85% favourites, although a 56% chance of under 3.5 goals suggests this may not be a full-on rout – 3-0.
Back the 3-0 @ 7.413/2
Arsenal’s wait for next home win to go on
Arsenal vs Southampton
It is all going wrong at Arsenal. I highlighted just how bad things are at the club in last week’s Football…Only Bettor when successfully opposing the Gunners against Burnley. To put it bluntly, the underlying process Arsenal have put up under Mikel Arteta is worse than what we saw from the team under Unai Emery. Defeat to Burnley was Arsenal’s fourth straight home loss, and that is understandable given their home xG numbers (1.4 xGF, 1.5 xGA per game). Southampton are flying high after a run of excellent results, but they sit in a false position according to xG, as the Saints have massively over-performed in attack. They have scored 24 goals from chances equating to 14.9 xGF, an over-performance that is likely unsustainable. Creating an average of just 1.1 xGF per game on the road, they may contribute to a low-scoring game. We give Southampton a 59% chance of avoiding defeat, with a 55% chance of under 2.5 goals – 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 7.413/2
Leeds to get back to winning ways
Leeds vs Newcastle
Set pieces continue to be Leeds’ Achilles heel, as West Ham punished their weakness last week in a deserved loss at Elland Road (xG: LEE 1.7 – 2.0 WHU). Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been a breath of fresh air this season with their swashbuckling style – something we rarely see in the Premier League – and it means they create plenty of opportunities regularly (1.7 xGF pg). Newcastle just about beat West Brom last time out, a week after their training ground was closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. They didn’t create much in that game (1.0 xGF), as continues to be the case under Steve Bruce (1.1 xGF pg). They may struggle to keep up with Leeds, with the model giving the hosts a 48% chance of winning, but we are swaying towards a low-scoring game (53% U2.5) – 2-0.
Back the 2-0 @ 10.5
No stopping flying Foxes
Leicester vs Everton
Leicester moved up to third with an excellent win over Brighton at the King Power, a 3-0 success in which they made light work of a tricky opponent (xG: LEI 1.7 – 0.9 BHA). They are getting key players back to fitness which only makes them more dangerous, and they are averaging 1.7 xGF per game this season, with Jamie Vardy again the main man (0.99 xG/avg match). Everton caused an upset at Goodison Park at the weekend by beating Chelsea, a deserved win in which they limited the Blues well, though they did struggle to create themselves (0.5 non-pen xGF). That was their first clean sheet since the opening day, which is a step in the right direction, but on the whole this season they have been vulnerable at the back (1.6 xGA pg). Leicester are given a 46% chance of winning, with under 2.5 the 52% favourite based on the Infogol model – 1-0.
Back the 1-0 @ 11.5
All square at Cottage
Fulham vs Brighton
Fulham have looked a completely different team in recent weeks compared to the start of the season, and Scott Parker deserves immense credit for transforming this team into one that now has a chance of surviving. They were good against Liverpool, and fully deserved their point, though defensively they are far from solid (1.9 xGA pg). Brighton put in their worst performance of the season to date at Leicester last weekend, which must be a concern for Graham Potter. They are unfortunate to sit in the bottom five through 12 matches, with their process (1.5 xGF, 1.3 xGA pg) worthy of a top half spot. The Seagulls should at least avoid defeat here – 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 7.06/1
Liverpool to break Mourinho’s spell
Liverpool vs Tottenham
Liverpool were far from their best against Fulham at the weekend, but they remain flawless at Anfield, boasting a 65-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, and six from six this term. That will be welcome for Jurgen Klopp’s side, whose underlying numbers at home are simply sensational (2.7 xGF, 1.0 xGA pg). Tottenham’s resolve was broken by Crystal Palace in a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Sunday, with the tactic of ‘go 1-0 up and hold on’ not working this time. So far this season, Spurs have a great record against the ‘big six’, winning three and drawing one of their four games. However, their last three big six games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have all followed a similar pattern; sit deep and counter. The aggregate xG from across those three matches read: TOT 1.2 – 3.6 B6, with the actual scoreline being 4-0 in Spurs favour. They have been fortunate, and if they allow this Liverpool team to dominate possession and territory, then I think the Reds will get the three points. Infogol gives Klopp’s side a 62% chance of winning, with over 2.5 a 63% chance – 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.417/2
West Ham to edge out Palace at London Stadium
West Ham vs Crystal Palace
West Ham were really good again last week, beating Leeds to register their fourth win in five league games, moving up to sixth. David Moyes deserves a huge amount of credit for the way he has turned this Hammers team around, not only the results, but also the underlying process (1.6 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg). Crystal Palace impressed at home to Tottenham, fully deserving their point in a game which they played with serious attacking intent (xG: CRY 1.8 – 1.2 TOT). Roy Hodgson’s side do continue to look vulnerable at the back, allowing an average of 1.6 xGA per game, so the Infogol model makes West Ham 47% favourites to get a fifth win in six here – 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 10.09/1
Burnley to pick up another point
Aston Villa vs Burnley
Aston Villa netted a late penalty to beat Wolves at Molineux, though a draw would have been a fairer reflection of the chances in the game (xG: WOL 1.5 – 1.4 AVL). Dean Smith’s side have had issues at home this season, losing three of their five games, mainly due to the fact that they have allowed 1.5 xGA per game at Villa Park. Burnley beat Arsenal on Sunday, meaning they have lost just one of their last five games, which came at Manchester City. They are back to being a tough nut to crack, though they haven’t yet started clicking in attack, averaging just 0.9 xGF pg. The model calculates Burnley have a 60% chance of avoiding defeat – 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 8.07/1
No let up for Blades
Sheffield United vs Manchester United
It is looking bleak for Sheffield United, who have picked up just one point in 12 games so far, and their performance at Southampton was woeful (xG: SOU 2.1 – 0.3 SHU). It appears as though their confidence is completely shot, with their underlying process now reflecting the fact that they are in serious trouble (1.1 xGF, 1.8 xGA pg). Manchester United were probably happy with a point in the Manchester derby, a game in which they rarely threatened in attack. Back on the road here though, they are in their happy place, having won all five away league games this term. They have come from behind in all five wins, and their numbers show that their away matches tend to be entertaining (2.1 xGF, 1.5 xGA pg). It is hard to see anything other than an away win here (57%), though over 2.5 goals is expected (53%) – 1-2.
Back the 1-2 @ 9.28/1