Premier League Score Predictor with Infogol GW26 pt 2: Both North London sides to be held
Infogol's Jake Osgathorpe uses expected goals (xG) to predict all the correct scores of part two in GW26 of the Premier League, so you don't have to...
Wolves to take down Foxes
Wolves vs Leicester
Wolves were held by Manchester United in their last league game, a game in which they were unfortunate to come away with only a point. Their current form suggests that they aren't playing well (1W in 6), but they have won the xG battle in five of those games, so are unfortunate not to have picked up more points. Nuno's side sit 4th in our xG table, with a good process (1.74 xGF, 1.31 xGA per game), so are more than capable of kick-starting their season with a win here. Leicester are also not in the best of form heading into this, winning just one of their last four following a 2-2 draw with Chelsea. Their process has also been impressive this season, but over the course of the campaign sit a place lower than Wolves. We expect an entertaining game on Friday night (62% BTTS, 61% O2.5), but fancy the hosts to get the three points (45%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 11.50
Saints too strong for Burnley
Southampton vs Burnley
Southampton were lauded for their performance against Liverpool last time out, which is laughable given that the scoreline was very fair based on expected goals (xG: LIV 3.90 - 0.81 SOU) - I guess that's what you get for taking the game to the champions-elect. They are seven points clear of the drop-zone after a fantastic run (5W in 8), and the Saints sit in the top half of Infogol's xG table. Burnley were impressive against Arsenal, meaning they have picked up seven points from games against Leicester, Manchester United and the Gunners - a very good return. Process-wise, these two teams are very similar, creating good chances while being vulnerable defensively, so we see goals here (61% BTTS, 60% O2.5) in a narrow home win (47%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.60
Another comfortable win for Reds
Norwich vs Liverpool
Norwich looked doomed, seven points from safety with 13 games left. They have been very unfortunate this season according to xG, ranking as the 15th best team in the league this season, and squandered a number of great chances against Newcastle last time out in a game they deserved to win (xG: NEW 1.13 - 2.42 NOR). Their process is poor (1.24 xGF, 1.94 xGA per game), and will likely be given the run-around here. Liverpool will win the title, it's just a question of how many records they can break along the way. They were excellent against Southampton last time out, extending their winning streak to 16, with nine of their last 10 coming with a clean-sheet. Their process is excellent, and we think they will win (70%) comfortably in another high-scoring (61% O2.5) shutout - 0-3.
Back the 0-3 @ 10.00
High-scoring draw at Villa Park
Aston Villa vs Tottenham
Aston Villa were rightly beaten by Bournemouth in their last game, but results went in their favour last weekend with none of Brighton, Bournemouth Crystal Palace or Watford winning, meaning they remain just outside the drop zone. Their process is the worst in the league though (1.51 xGF, 2.34 xGA per game), so need to improve that if they are to stay up this season. Tottenham were hugely fortunate to beat Manchester City last time out, a 2-0 success which brought the lowest fairness rating Infogol has ever seen (12.45). That was another game in which they conceded a host of chances, something they have been doing regularly of late (2.05 xGA per game last 5), while failing to generate good chances regularly in that time (1.28 xGF per game last 5). They have won the xG battle in just two of their last nine league games - both against bottom side Norwich - so really aren't playing well under Jose Mourinho. It is really hard to get on side with either of these teams, but given both sides defensive vulnerabilities, goals are expected (58% BTTS, 56% O2.5), but sitting on the fence is where I'm going in this one - 2-2.
Back the 2-2 @ 15.00
Another draw for Arteta
Arsenal vs Newcastle
Another game in which it is hard to get on side with either team. Arsenal were fortunate to escape from Turf Moor with a point last time out, as they were comfortably second best according to xG (xG: BUR 2.26 - 1.19 ARS). They have still won only one game under Mikel Arteta, and have drawn five, losing one, with their underlying process in that time extremely poor (1.09 xGF, 1.68 xGA per game), especially in attack. I am yet to see anything that would tell me they have improved or moved forward since his appointment. Newcastle sit rock bottom of Infogol's xG table, continuing their trend of getting points they don't deserve. They have lost the xG battle in all of their last 13 league games, but have picked up 16 points, so have ridden their luck massively, then struck at the right times. The deep-block and counter attacking style they will play in this game is the best way to play against this toothless Arsenal side, and I think this will be another game in which Newcastle avoid defeat (40% NEW or Draw), with both teams scoring (55%) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ 9.60
Blues to prevail to boost top four hopes
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Chelsea have come in for a lot of stick in recent weeks after a poor run of results (15 points from last 13), but their underlying process remains impressive, sitting third in Infogol's xG table. They have won the xG battle in nine of those 13 games, so are unfortunate not to have picked up more points. At home they have managed just 18 points from 12 games, scoring 16 and conceding 12. On paper that seems horrendous, but they have been extremely unfortunate in front of their own fans, with their process excellent (2.62 xGF, 1.03 xGA per home game), with the issue being converting chances (16 goals from chances equating to 31.4 xGF). Manchester United have failed to score in four of their last five league games, with the injuries to key attacking players affecting them greatly. However, in their last 10 league games they have averaged 1.71 xGF per game, so are creating the chances, and defensively they aren't as bad as recent results suggest, allowing 1.28 xGA per game in that time. They are suited to counter-attacking football - which is how I see this game going - so we expect them to score (59% BTTS) in a high-scoring game (57% O2.5), but ultimately we think Chelsea will prevail (46%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 9.40
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