Using expected goals (xG) data, Infogol’s Liam Kelly 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 (xG) model. Expected goals quantifies the quality of a scoring opportunity, allocating each shot a probability of finding the back of the net.
The xG metric can be used to assess teams and their performances, giving an insight into future prospects, making Infogol an excellent tool for betting.
Everton vs Leeds
Despite rebounding from an inadequate set of results, Everton were hardly convincing in their 3-2 win last time out, permitting Fulham a path back into the game after a positive first half performance. Carlo Ancelotti’s men recorded just 0.08 xGF after the break, while looking rattled at the back. That lack of solidity has been a serious issue recently, conceding an average of 1.92 xGA per game in their last six matches — a tendency their opponents can take full advantage of in this fixture.
Leeds created more than enough scoring opportunities to win their game against Arsenal last Sunday, recording 2.01 xG and hitting the woodwork three times in the goalless draw. Marcelo Bielsa’s side enter this game lower in the table than their underlying numbers suggest they should, sitting ninth on Infogol’s expected points. Leeds’ attack has undoubtedly been their strength, averaging an impressive 1.63 xGF per game on their long-awaited return to the top tier. Questions remain about the solidity of the defensive unit (1.68 xGA per game), but a good display against Arsenal offers optimism.
Admittedly refreshing, the positive mentality of Bielsa’s team encourages me to exclude the draw in my selection here. As a result, the 9/5 available to back Leeds in the Draw No Bet market is of interest.
Selection – Leeds Draw No Bet @ 9/5
West Brom vs Sheff Utd
A massive match-up in the battle for survival. West Brom may feel aggrieved with their 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford last weekend, but, based on xG, the result was justified. The Baggies continue to be toothless in attack, averaging a measly 0.61 xGF per game. Underlying numbers show that Slaven Bilić’s side are the worst defensive team in the league, too, conceding chances equating to 2.04 xGA per game.
Sheff Utd look awfully low on confidence at the moment, failing to hit the back of the net again in their 1-0 home defeat to West Ham (xG: SHU 1.02 – 2.30 WHU). Converting scoring chances has been an issue all season, netting just four times from a total of 9.8 xGF, two of which (1.6 xG) have come from the penalty spot.
Despite posting alarming underlying metrics, the Blades have endured the toughest start to the season of any Premier League team based on Infogol’s forecast finishing positions. Facing another winless side represents an excellent chance to kickstart their campaign. The 2/1 available about Sheff Utd makes a fair amount of appeal.
Selection – Sheff Utd to win @ 2/1
Chelsea vs Tottenham
Chelsea notched their third consecutive Premier League victory last weekend, beating Newcastle with consummate ease (xG: NEW 0.50 – 1.98 CHE), rising to third in the table while completely shutting down their opponents yet again. Their improvement in defensive process since the introduction of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has been drastic, conceding chances equating to an average of 0.62 xGA per game when the Frenchman has played in the Premier League and Champions League this season. At the other end, Frank Lampard’s attacking unit appears to be finding its stride, averaging 2.28 xGF per game in their last six matches despite missing some valuable pieces.
Tottenham’s 2-0 win against Manchester City last weekend was all too familiar, soaking up plenty of pressure and being decisive on the counter (xG: TOT 0.68 – 2.07 MCI). José Mourinho’s side have posted incredible underlying numbers this season, averaging 1.99 xGF and 1.32 xGA per game, but their last two performances on the road have been a little concerning. Late goals were required against strugglers Burnley and West Brom, so it will be interesting to see how Spurs fare in this heated rivalry.
Given their outstanding defensive numbers and the likely return of both Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic, Chelsea look value to strengthen their title credentials with three points at Stamford Bridge. Our model suggests the Blues have a 57% chance of winning this game, making the 11/10 on offer (48%) a solid proposition.
Selection – Chelsea to win @ 11/10