Saturday 20:00

Using expected goals (xG) data, Infogol’s Jake Osgathorpe picks out the best bets from across the weekend’s Premier League action.

Infogol is a revolutionary football product, which harnesses Opta data to power an expected goals model. Expected Goals quantifies the quality of a scoring opportunity, allocating each chance a probability of it finding the back of the net. 

The xG metric can be used to assess teams and their performances, and it also helps to give an insight into future prospects, which in turn helps with betting.

Liverpool vs Sheffield United

Liverpool again impressed me last weekend, being extremely unfortunate in a few ways.

They bossed the game and created by far and away the better of the chances in the Merseyside derby, and were denied the win by a dubious VAR offside call. The draw was marred by the injury to Virgil van Dijk though, that does leave them more vulnerable defensively than normal.

Jurgen Klopp was rightly disgruntled by the tackles made by Jordan Pickford and Richarlison on two of his prized assets, but his squad is deep, and they should have enough to win matches comfortably without their big centre half.

The Reds racked up 2.85 xGF at Goodison Park, which was double the amount any other team have managed against Everton so far this season, showing just how impressive they were.

Even with VvD, Liverpool were conceding chances this season (1.48 xGA per game), so that should continue in his absence.

Sheffield United got their first point on the board against Fulham last weekend, in what was a very fair result based on expected goals (xG: SHU 1.83 – 1.82 FUL).

They haven’t yet hit the heights of last season, but the Blades haven’t been as bad as results would suggest, sitting 12th in our xG table through five matches.

Chris Wilder’s side have scored just twice so far, but have created chances equating to 5.7 xGF, so only poor finishing means their goal tally is so low.

While they are far from the league’s best-attacking side, I think they can get on the scoresheet at Anfield against a susceptible Liverpool defence, and BTTS is a value play.

Selection – Back BTTS @ 1/1

Sunday 16:30

Wolves vs Newcastle

Wolves look back to their stubborn selves after an odd two game spell in which they conceded seven times, with back-to-back 1-0 wins in the mould of the Wolves we have become accustomed to.

They looked organised and resolute against Leeds on Monday, and while ever they have the individual quality in attack, they will edge tight games.

Built from defence forward, Nuno’s side are in a great place to have another good season and should be able to keep Newcastle out in this game.

Newcastle were thumped by Manchester United last weekend, again struggling to create many scoring opportunities.

Steve Bruce’s side have averaged just 0.87 non-pen xGF per game so far this season, really finding it difficult to sustain attacks and create ‘non-pen big chances’ (three so far).

Couple that with a defence that continues to concede chance after chance, and you have a recipe for a bottom half struggler, or maybe even a relegation candidate.

They should struggle to create in this game while Wolves have the quality to score a couple, and the Infogol model calculates decent value in backing a home win at odds on.

Selection – Wolves to win @ 13/16

Monday 20:00

Burnley vs Tottenham

Burnley got their first point of the new season in that draw at West Brom, a very fair result based on the chances created by both teams (xG: WBA 1.06 – 1.14 BUR).

So far this season, Burnley’s matches have seen few chances at either end (0.88 xGF, 1.21 xGA per game), but given the players the Clarets have back to full fitness, that should change.

Tottenham are one of the Premier League’s entertainers this season, with their five matches seeing 23 goals after a 3-3 thriller against West Ham last time out.

Spurs were in cruise control after a ridiculously clinical opening 15 minutes in which they scored three from their first shots (0.46 xG), but West Ham managed to get a goal that gave them hope, and Tottenham couldn’t see the game out.

That is the second time this season they have been done by a late sucker punch, but the way in which they have attacked in their last three and half games is extremely eye-catching.

Since HT away at Southampton, Spurs have racked up 11.07 xGF, so their attack is clicking, though their defence continues to look vulnerable.

They can contribute to another high-scoring, entertaining game if they continue to attack in the same manner, which I think is likely, so over 2.5 goals is the selection for the late Monday game.

Selection – Over 2.5 Goals @ 17/20