Bournemouth got a huge result in their last league game, as they ended a six-match winless run to move them to 18th, with just goal difference separating them and safety.
That result was massive for them as they had lost 10 of their last 12 in the league, so were desperate to stop the rot, even if they got fortunate against Brighton (xG: BOU 1.86 – 2.65 BHA).
Bournemouth had been seriously struggling in attack, only generating more than 1.00 xGF four times in their 12 games before that Brighton victory – not something we expect from Bournemouth.
Their gung-ho, attack-minded force that would take it to any team seems to have disappeared this season, but hopefully for their sake the Brighton game was a kick-start.
Aston Villa picked up a point against Brighton (xG: BHA 1.44 – 1.17 AST) in their last away game, before beating Watford (xG: AST 1.43 – 1.97 WAT) last time out, though they were second best in both games according to expected goals.
In fact, Dean Smith’s side have been second best in all of their last 11 Premier League games based on expected goals, with a process in that time of 1.18 xGF and a staggering 2.54 xGA per game.
Despite a Carabao Cup final to look forward too, Villa are a mess defensively and Bournemouth can exploit that to build upon their renewed confidence.
A home win for Bournemouth looks the value play.
Selection: Bournemouth to win @ Evs.
Crystal Palace’s drawing streak was stopped at four by Southampton last time out, as the Eagles suffered a 2-0 home defeat, after a weak attacking performance (xG: CRY 0.54 – 0.96 SOU).
The scoreline flattered the visitors, but they deserved the win, and the defeat means that Roy Hodgson’s side have won just one of their last nine league games, though they have only lost twice in that time.
Somehow, they remain 11th in the table and seven points above the drop zone despite winning just one of their last nine games and are are fortunate to be that high, as they sit 16th in Infogol’s xG table.
They are one of the worse attacking teams in the league (1.04 xGF per game), but are scoring at a rate we would expect, with their huge over-performance coming in defence, where they have conceded only 28 goals from chances equating to 42.3 xGA (1.76 xGA per game).
Sheffield United look to be having a bit of a wobble – but they’re not really. They have lost three of their last nine, but all three have come against Manchester City (2) and Liverpool.
They rightly sit in the top half according to expected goals, and their process this season shows that chances at both ends is the norm for Chris Wilder’s team (1.57 xGF, 1.47 xGA per game).
The Blades are under-performing in attack (25 goals from 37.6 xGF) and over-performing in defence (23 conceded from 35.3 xGA), so their low goal totals at both ends don’t tell the full story of just how chance-laden their matches are.
Both teams to score is the value selection here.
Selection: BTTS @ 11/10.
Watford’s six game unbeaten run – with four wins – came to an end last time out, as they blew a 1-0 half-time lead at Aston Villa, though Nigel Pearson’s side were unfortunate to come away empty handed (xG: AST 1.43 – 1.97 WAT).
Since he took over, only Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool have generated more xGF than Watford (14.5 – 1.81 xGF per game), so they are clicking in attack, no doubt helped by Troy Deeney’s return and Abdoulaye Doucouré taking up a more attacking role.
Defensively they are far from solid, allowing 1.46 xGA per game, so you put those two numbers together, and what you get is a very entertaining team to watch.
Everton were left hugely frustrated last time out against Newcastle, as they went into the 93rd minute with a 2-0 lead, only to squander it in spectacular fashion.
Despite the disappointment, the decorated Italian has injected some much-needed life into Everton’s attacking game, as the Toffees have averaged 1.85 xGF per game since he came in, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin the main beneficiary having netted five times in six league games.
Defensively though, question marks remain, as they have allowed an average of 1.30 xGA per game since Ancelotti’s appointment, so interestingly, we have a match-up in this game where the two teams are posting very similar processes under new managers.
Infogol expect goals at Vicarage Road – and over 2.5 of them make appeal.
Selection: Over 2.5 goals @ 19/20.
*Prices correct at time of publication but markets are fluid.