With the return of Serie A this weekend, all of the big European leagues are now back in full swing. Our analyst has taken a close look at this Sunday’s fixtures across the continent, using expected goals (xG) data to select best value bets in the both teams to score market, picking an 11/2 treble.
To quickly recap for anyone who doesn’t know what the hell xG is: Expected goals (xG) quantifies the quality of any given scoring opportunity, giving each chance a probability of being scored. The higher the probability, the better the chance. xG provides a descriptive look back at individual games or over a longer period of time, helping to give an insight into future performance.
How likely is it that teams are going to be able to repeat their current form? Is the team over-performing or under-performing? xG can help answer those tricky questions.
For a more detailed breakdown, check out our Expected Goals Introduction article.
Alavés vs Espanyol
Alavés began their La Liga season with a 1-0 win over Levante at the Mendizorrotza, although they were fortunate to do so according to expected goals (xG: ALA 0.70 – 0.94 LEV). Asier Garitano’s side ranked as the fifth-worst in the league last season despite finishing in 11th place according to expected goals, so they could be vulnerable this season.
Espanyol displayed how much they will miss last season’s top scorer Borja Iglesias in their opening game of the season, losing 2-0 to Sevilla. It was a thoroughly deserved loss that showed their current weakness in defence, conceding four ‘big chances’ (over 0.35 xG), to a much changes Sevilla team. Espanyol won’t be as poor in attack as their first outing showed, but their defence is a worry, so there should be goals in this game.
Both teams to score has a 51% chance of happening in this game according to our model, making the even money available value.
Selection: Both Teams to Score – Yes @ Evens
Cagliari vs Brescia
Cagliari ended the 18/19 Serie A season just above the relegation places, mainly due to a porous defence that ranked as the second-worst in the league last season, conceding an average of 1.61 xGA per game. The arrival of Radja Nainggolan, Nahitan Nández and Marko Rog offers hope of a better season for Cagliari offensively, but their defensive issues could still remain.
Brescia won the Serie B title comfortably last season and did so by being the league’s best-attacking unit, scoring 69 goals in 36 games. Eugenio Corinio has largely been able to keep his promotion-winning side in-tact, most importantly holding onto promising youngster Sandro Tonali, and have added hometown hero Mario Balotelli to their already prolific attack.
We expect an entertaining match at the Sardegna Arena, and rate both teams to score as a 61% (around 4/6).
Selection: Both Teams to Score – Yes @ 17/20
Torino vs Sassuolo
Torino have a wealth of talent offensively, with Andrea Belotti, Simone Zaza and Iago Falque all capable of scoring at any time. Torino overperformed last season according to expected goals, and now have the Europa League schedule to deal with, which will make it tough for them in Serie A this season.
Sassuolo enjoyed another solid mid-table finish in the league last season, and deservedly so according to xG, ranking as the 12th best team in Serie A. Roberto De Zerbi’s side is improved by the signing of Francesco Caputo from relegated Empoli, who averaged a very impressive 0.40 xG/90 on a poor team. Torino’s game against Wolves in midweek means rotation could be a factor in this match, and Sassuolo have the ability to grab an away goal, making both teams to score ‘Yes’ the selection here according to the Infogol model (53%).
Alavés vs Espanyol – Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ @ Evens
Cagliari vs Brescia – Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ @ 17/20
Torino vs Sassuolo – Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ @ 4/5