Premier League Correct Score Predictor with Infogol: Tips for every match of GW31
The Premier League is back with midweek action, so Jake Osgathorpe is here to look at the likely winners and scorelines of all 10 games using expected goals (xG)...
Man Utd to help top four chances with win
Manchester United vs Sheffield United Wednesday, 18:00
A big game, as only two points separate these sides as they bid to qualify for Europe. Manchester United took a while to get going on Friday, but impressed when they did, winning the xG battle comfortably (xG: TOT 0.5 - 1.7 MUN). They have been excellent at home throughout 19/20 (1.9 xGF, 1.0 xGA pg), and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12. Sheffield United have been mightily disappointing since the season restarted, losing the xG battle against both Aston Villa and Newcastle - two of the worst teams in the league according to xG. They are yet to score, and have generated just 1.1 xGF in the two games combined, so really have to step their game up. Man Utd should get the win (59%), in what could turn into a surprisingly entertaining game (54% O2.5, 52% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @9.60
Newcastle to make it another win
Newcastle vs Aston Villa Wednesday, 18:00
Newcastle impressed against Sheffield United, even before their visitors were reduced to 10-men, but they ultimately ran out comfortable winners (xG: NEW 2.0 - 0.7 SHU). That was their third straight clean-sheet in the league, and the third straight game in which they won the xG battle - are they improving due to playing a more attacking formation? Aston Villa are desperate for points, and according to xG they have created the better chances in both matches since the restart. They are six without a win, but only one point from safety (albeit with an inferior GD), though their defensive numbers on the road are horrendous (2.6 xGA pg). Newcastle are fancied to win (47%), with another high-scoring game expected at St James' (60% O2.5, 61% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @10.00
No respite for Norwich
Norwich vs Everton Wednesday, 18:00
Norwich were extremely poor on their return to action, but results elsewhere mean they are still only six from safety (albeit with an inferior GD). They were shocking against Southampton (xG: NOR 0.9 - 2.0 SOU), picking up where they left off pre-break, as their defensive issues continue to plague Daniel Farke's side. Everton won the xG battle in the Merseyside derby (xG: EVE 0.9 - 0.7 LIV), creating the better chances in what was a decent all-round display from Carlo Ancelotti's side. While they have collected only 12 points on the road this season (15 games) with a -13 GD, their underlying performances suggest they should have picked up much more points, boasting the fifth best xG process on the road in 19/20 (+4.3 xGD). They should prove too strong for Norwich and get the win here (58%), with goals again likely at Carrow Road with Norwich's leaky defence (58% O2.5, 56% BTTS) - 1-3.
Back the 1-3 @17.00
No stopping Wolves
Wolves vs Bournemouth Wednesday, 18:00
Wolves continued their march towards European football with a comfortably 2-0 win over West Ham at the weekend, a win that keeps them within five points of Chelsea and drew them level with Man Utd. They rank as the fourth best team in the league according to xG, and have a solid process at home (1.7 xGF, 1.1 xGA pg). Bournemouth's display against Crystal Palace was alarming to say the least, as they showed little fight and little creativity in attack (xG: BOU 0.6 - 0.9 CRY). They look to be in serious trouble, and that isn't expected to be eased in this game, with Wolves strongly fancied to win (70%) in a high-scoring game (64% O2.5), though Bournemouth may not do much of the scoring - 3-0.
Back the 3-0 @14.50
Reds to be far from convincing in win
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace Wednesday, 20:15
Liverpool were extremely disappointing on their return to action in the Merseyside derby, struggling to create any clear opportunities and losing the xG battle (xG: EVE 0.9 - 0.7 LIV). They will win the league, but they may struggle to break Man City's 100 point record if they continue playing that way. Crystal Palace picked up from where they left off pre-break, as they beat Bournemouth 2-0 in what was a very solid defensive display. That was their fourth straight win in the league, and their fourth win to nil, as they moved above Arsenal and level on points with Tottenham. Their process on the road isn't very good (1.0 xGF, 1.9 xGA pg), and they should see their winning run ended here (74% LIV), but we expect them to cause problems on the counter-attack in a high-scoring game (61% O2.5)
Back the 2-1 @10.00
Burnley to bounce back
Burnley vs Watford Thursday, 18:00
Burnley were hopeless on Monday, losing 5-0 at Manchester City, mustering just one shot equating to 0.03 xG in the process. It was an uncharacteristically poor display from Sean Dyche's side, who have averaged 1.8 xGF and 1.4 xGA per home game this season. Watford rightly equalised late against Leicester, winning the xG battle in their 1-1 draw. At home is where they have most of their success this season from an underlying number perspective, and away from home they have been very poor (0.9 xGF, 1.8 xGA pg). Burnley are worth chancing in this game, with the model calculating a 49% chance of a home win in a game that should see goals (59% O2.5, 60% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @13.00
Saints to pile more pressure on Arteta
Southampton vs Arsenal Thursday, 18:00
Southampton beat Norwich in comfortable fashion to move themselves 10 points clear of the relegation zone, not that they should have even been embroiled in it, ranking eighth in our xG table. They have been the worst home team according to points collected this season (14 points, 15 games), but don't let that fool you, as the Saints' process is much better than results suggest (1.5 xGF, 1.6 xGA pg) - sitting 13th in our home xG table. Arsenal's eight game unbeaten run is a distant memory following back-to-back defeats post-break, with their loss to Brighton the story of Arsenal over the last decade - a team with a soft underbelly that can't defend. Since Arteta took over their process has been not improved (1.3 xGF, 1.8 xGA pg), so Southampton are fancied to win (48%) here, in a game that should see goals (62% O2.5, 62% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @11.00
Another City win
Chelsea vs Manchester City Thursday, 20:15
Chelsea were far from convincing in their win at Aston Villa at the weekend, losing the xG battle (xG: AVL 1.6 - 1.4 CHE), and although they dominated the ball, they struggled to create clear-cut chances until Frank Lampard made his changes (Barkley and Pulisic). Though the Blues have won only seven of 15 home games, they have the second-best home process (2.5 xGF, 0.9 xGA pg) in the Premier League. Manchester City have looked imperious since the restart, winning both games by an aggregate scoreline of 8-0, and the xG aggregate of games against Arsenal and Burnley reading 5.5 - 0.3 in Pep's side favour. They are yet to concede a shot on target since the restart which is astounding, and they look as good on the eye test as the numbers suggest. We give City a 47% chance of winning a high-scoring game (55% O2.5, 57% BTTS) - 1-2.