With a host of games taking place across Europe this Sunday, Infogol’s Analyst takes a look at some interesting match-ups in La Liga and Serie A, using expected goals (xG) to assess three games and generate the best betting tips, arriving at a nice 13/2 treble.
Sunday, 18:00 (UK)
Espanyol have found it difficult to create any chances of note so far in La Liga, deservedly losing 2-0 at home to Sevilla (xG: ESP 0.26 – 1.84 SEV) in the season opener, and playing out a 0-0 bore draw away to Alaves last weekend (xG: ALA 0.66 – 0.23 ESP).
In contrast, they have been scoring freely in their Europa League qualifiers, reaching the group stage easily, and netting 11 goals in just four games, albeit against poor opposition.
Granada’s return to La Liga started with a bang, earning a deserved point in an entertaining 4-4 draw away to Villarreal, although both teams were fortunate to score as many as they did (xG: VIL 2.14 – 1.99 GRA).
Diego Martínez’s side followed that up with a 1-0 defeat at home to Sevilla, where they struggled to create any good chances, generating just 0.53 xGF from 12 shots.
It’s only a matter of time before Espanyol’s attack improves, and Infogol’s model gives them a 59% chance of gaining their first win of the season this Sunday against La Liga newcomers Granada.
Pick: Espanyol to win – Evens
Sunday, 19:45 (UK)
Genoa will be delighted with their start to the Serie A season, drawing 3-3 with Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, although they were fortunate to snatch a point, creating just 1.28 xGF (xG: ROM 2.45 – 1.28 GEN).
However, that game may have been an outlier, having had issues in attack last season, scoring eight fewer than would be expected (39 goals, 47.2 xGF).
Fiorentina were also involved in a high-scoring thriller in their season opener, losing 4-3 at home to possible title challengers Napoli, but were slightly unfortunate to not gain at least a point according to expected goals (xG: FIO 2.03 – 1.85 NAP).
Vincenzo Montella’s side may find it hard to create as many opportunities at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris this weekend, against a back three of Genoa that like to sit deep and frustrate opponents.
The fixtures between these two teams last season were drab affairs, with both games ending 0-0, and the Infogol model sees a shortage of goals in this season’s match-up, giving a 55% chance of this game having under 2.5 goals.
Pick: Under 2.5 Goals – Evens
Sunday, 20:00 (UK) – Live on ITV4
Villarreal have been the entertainers of La Liga so far this season, beginning with a 4-4 draw against Granada (xG: VIL 2.14 -1.99 GRA), before being unlucky in a 2-1 defeat at Levante, where they conceded two penalties.
Although they look vulnerable in defence, Javi Calleja’s side have looked very impressive in attack, averaging a massive 2.67 xGF in their two games so far.
Real Madrid were fortunate to win so comfortably on the opening game of the season against Celta Vigo (xG: CEL 1.62 – 1.93 RMA), although they did play with ten men for over 30 minutes of that match, which ended in 3-1 victory.
They followed up that performance with a poor 1-1 draw against potential relegation candidates Real Valladolid (xG: RMA 2.08 – 1.20 VAL), in which they gave up some big chances, and looking very shaky in defence.
This game is the pick of the weekend action in La Liga, with ITV4 showing this game live, and there is good value in backing Villareal to gain at least a point at El Madrigal, with Infogol’s model rating Villarreal’s chances of gaining a win or draw at 59%.
- Espanyol to win vs Granada – 10/11
- Genoa vs Fiorentina – Under 2.5 Goals – Evens
- Villarreal or Draw vs Real Madrid – Evens
A £/€1 treble on these three selections returns £/€7.64 including stake on paddypower.com. Odds correct at time of posting, subject to change.