15:00 Saturday

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

West Brom vs Brighton

West Brom valiantly fought with 10-men against Burnley last weekend, looking the better side throughout despite Semi Ajayi’s early red card (xG: BUR 0.63 – 1.42 WBA).

They probably would have settled for a point before that clash, but it was ultimately a missed opportunity to secure an important win against fellow relegation candidates.

Truthfully, their chances of maintaining their Premier League status seem incredibly slim, and it’s not a surprise to see the club rooted to the bottom of Infogol’s expected league table based on expected points (xP).

Their performances have fallen well short of the required standard all season, and their underlying numbers explain their current predicament – they’re woeful.

No team has a worse overall process than the Baggies (0.86 xGF, 1.94 xGA per game), and Brighton will surely view this game as the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their unfortunate defeat to Crystal Palace.

Once again, Brighton dominated that game without emerging with anything to show with it, a staggering trend that they’ve fell victim to at the Amex this season (xG: BRI 3.03 – 0.27 CRY).

They’re playing away here, though, and they have picked up better results on their travels this term, recently beating Liverpool at Anfield.

Brighton have consistently shown they have enough quality to fashion an abundance of opportunities and they should find joy against this poor West Brom side.

The price about Brighton to win looks value, even at a shade of odds, as their process this season is that of a top half team, and so I expect them to get back to winning ways here.

Selection – Brighton to win @ 19/20

Brighton to Win - 1pt @ 20/21

20:00 Saturday

Newcastle vs Wolves

Since Christmas, no team in the Premier League has picked up fewer points than Newcastle United, and it’s not hard to see why the murmurings of discontent are getting louder in the North East. 

Newcastle equalised at Old Trafford on their most recent league outing, but the hosts would eventually brush them aside to win 3-1 without leaving third gear (xG: MUN 1.69 – 0.45 NEW).

That result condemned the Magpies to their 14th defeat of the season and, worryingly, only West Brom (15) and Sheffield United (20) have lost more games than Newcastle this term.

Steve Bruce has undoubtedly taken the club backwards, and his failures to compete tactically in England’s topflight have been ruthlessly exposed.

The Black and Whites have created an abysmal average of 1.00 xGF per game across their last 10 fixtures, creating just seven big chances (>35%) in that time.

To add to the growing concern surrounding Bruce’s ability to maintain the club’s Premier League status, Newcastle have been rocked by an injury to the talismanic Callum Wilson.

Wilson accounts for 40% of the club’s goal haul this campaign, which begs the question – who’s going to fire Newcastle to safety in his absence?

It’s not exactly been a vintage season for Wolves, either, but recently they have shown signs of revival, beating Southampton and Leeds.

However, Wolves were incredibly fortunate against Leeds, creating significantly less than their opponents (xG: WOL 0.91 – 2.73 LEE), while also benefiting from an unfortunate own goal, but that result extended their unbeaten league run to four.

Notably, they’ve conceded just twice across that period, and they should be able to limit Newcastle’s chances on goal considering their attacking struggles.

Although not a spectacular price, Under 2.5 Goals looks an appealing bet here, with the Infogol model forecasting a dull game at St.James’ Park.

Selection – Under 2.5 Goals @ 13/20

Under 2.5 Goals - 1pt @ 8/13