Sevilla vs Espanyol
Bottom of the table Espanyol have shown vast improvement in attack recently, undoubtedly aided by the January addition of renowned goal-getter Raúl de Tomás. However, they do allow their opponents to create plenty of chances, averaging 1.40 xGA this season.
Sevilla surrendered a lead in their 2-1 defeat at Celta Vigo last weekend, conceding two late goals in a game that had chances at both ends (xG: CEL 1.61 – 1.40 SEV). They boast the requisite quality to cause any team problems at the back, averaging an impressive 1.75 xGF per game in La Liga, which rises to 1.86 xGF per game when playing at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.
We expect goals in this game, with the Infogol model calculating a 54% chance of three or more goals, which can be backed at Evens (50%).
Selection: Back Over 2.5 Goals @ Evens
Mainz vs Schalke
Relegation-threatened Mainz have posted excellent offensive underlying numbers in recent weeks, averaging 1.88 xGF per game in their last six matches, despite facing the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen during that stretch. They face a Schalke side who are very fortunate to sit sixth in the Bundesliga according to expected goals, ranking as the fifth-worst side in the league on Infogol’s xG table.
Robin Quaison enters this game in fantastic form after notching a hat-trick last weekend in Mainz’s 3-1 away win against Hertha Berlin. The Swede has scored 11 goals this season and ranks seventh in the Bundesliga for total xG (8.63), averaging 0.46 xG per 90 minutes.
Infogol thinks Mainz are excellent value in this game, so given Robin Quaison’s excellent season and recent scoring form, the 2/1 available for Mainz’s primary goal threat to score anytime looks a solid selection.
Selection: Back Robin Quaison to score anytime @ 2/1
Lazio vs Inter Milan
Surprise package Lazio sit third in the table, just one point of the top after an 18-game unbeaten run that has included 14 wins. Along with the scorching form of Ciro Immobile, a solid backline has played a crucial role in their title challenge, conceding 20 goals from 28.8 xGA in their 23 matches.
Inter have yet to lose away from home this season, winning nine of their eleven games on the road. Antonio Conte’s side have been very stingy defensively in those matches, conceding 10 goals and allowing just 0.98 xGA per game. Their title hopes were boosted last weekend after a thumping 4-2 win in the Milan derby, recovering from two goals down at half time to gain a hugely important three points (xG: LAZ 1.76 – 2.54 INT).
A loss for either side would significantly damage their title credentials, so a tight affair is extremely likely. Infogol’s model expects a low-scoring game here, seeing value in this vitally important Serie A match-up having under 2.5 goals.
Selection: Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 11/10
Lille vs Marseille
The marquee game of the Ligue 1 weekend. A young Lille side have enjoyed a fantastic season. They enter this game in fourth place, but deserve to be higher according to expected goals, sporting the second-best xGD (+6.1) in the Ligue 1. Christophe Galtier’s side have been terrific in defence this season, particularly at home, conceding chances equating to just 0.79 xGA per game.
Marseille extended their incredible unbeaten league run to 13 games (W10-D3-L0) last Saturday following a narrow 1-0 home win over relegation threatened Toulouse. However, from a data standpoint, Marseille’s last five matches have been far from impressive, especially in attack, averaging an awfully low 0.60 xGF per game.
Our model believes Both Teams to Score ‘No’ is the value bet here, but with Lille’s excellent defensive record at home and Marseille’s recent struggles in attack, it is worth chancing that Lille will be team to keep a clean sheet at 6/4.
Selection: Back Lille to keep a clean sheet @ 6/4
A £/€1 acca on these four selections returns £/€31.50 including stake on pp.com. Odds correct at time of posting, subject to change.Find a full range of odds on all these games over on paddypower.com