Expected Goals explained:
Football fans know that a player has a better chance of scoring with a shot from the edge of the six-yard box than a shot from 30+ yards, but on the stats sheet after a game, both are viewed equally in the ‘shots’ column. Infogol’s Expected Goals (xG) is a statistical metric which assesses every chance created during a game, assigning a likelihood of each individual chance being scored. For more details shoot over to Infogol’s Expected Goals introduction.
Brighton’s season has somewhat stalled after a fast start, following up a win at Watford and a draw with West Ham with back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Manchester City, but there is no reason to panic.
Graham Potter has made an impact on this team already, and although they were thumped 4-0 by City last time out, they created good chances themselves, and limited Manchester City to their worst attacking display of the season.
The Seagulls are averaging 1.44 xGF per game this season, which is a decent total given the tinkering with system and personnel that Potter has been doing, and this level of process is likely to continue given the attacking mindset Brighton are now playing with.
Burnley are another team that many thought play dull, defensive football, but since Christmas last season, Seam Dyche’s side have been a very entertaining watch, creating plenty of chances in matches.
So far this season the Clarets have averaged 1.28 xGF and 1.28 xGA per game, with their last game against Liverpool the first time they have failed to score this season, and the only game in which they have failed to generate more than 1.00 xGF.
Burnley can be forgiven for that latest effort against one of the best defensive teams in the league, and chances at both ends is expected once again in another entertaining Burnley game, with Brighton starting to see the same trend.
An entertaining encounter at the AMEX, with Infogol calculating a 55% (4/5) chance of both teams scoring and Paddy has it spot on.
Selection: Both teams to score @ 4/5
Ole Gunnar Solskjær just can’t get a break as Manchester United manager, as his side have been extremely unfortunate in the early part of the season, based on expected goals (xG).
United have been the second-best team in the league after four games. According to expected goals, performances are improving even if results aren’t showing that and United will start to climb the table, especially if they continue to defend the way they have done. They have allowed an average of just 0.84 xGA per game – the second-best defensive record in the league – behind Leicester.
While the defensive signs are positive for United, the question marks come in attack. They’ve created an averaged of just 1.27 non-penalty xGF per game this season as surely can’t be reliant on a penalty every week (three pens in four games).
Leicester were tipped by Infogol to be a serious threat to the top six this season, and they haven’t disappointed with eight points from four games. Their win over Bournemouth was their best performance of the season to date.
Along with that strong defence, the Foxes have an attack that can cause United some serious problems with their counter-attacking capability and ball-possession abilities, giving them different dimensions.
Infogol’s model calculates that United should be priced closer to 6/5 (45% chance of winning). Leicester appear to be underestimated as we give the Foxes a 55% (4/5) chance of getting something from the game. So there’s value in the 10/11 (52%) on offer now.
Selection: Leicester or Draw @ 10/11
Wolves have had a really difficult opening stretch to the season and have had to balance six Europa League qualifiers with four Premier League game.
They have won all six qualifiers to make it to the Europa League Group Stage proper, but are yet to register a win in the league, drawing three and losing one of their first matches.
The were unlucky to lose to Everton based on our stats and have plenty of attacking talent in their team. They were the fifth best team in the league last season according to xG and had an excellent record against the top six last season.
These games bring the best out of them and suit their style.
Chelsea went into the international break deflated after blowing a 2-0 lead against newly-promoted Sheffield United, as their defensive issues remain. On early showings, Frank Lampard has a huge task on his hands in order to make this Chelsea team competitive for a top four spot, as they are so vulnerable defensively (1.42 xGA per game).
Emerson Palmeri’s is an injury doubt and if he’s ruled out it will weaken Chelsea even further.
N’Golo Kante could return but it is still a huge surprise to see the visitors initially installed as favourites and we give Nuno’s side a good chance of winning this.
Selection: Wolves to win @ 15/8
*The treble pays approx 17/2 at the published prices but markets can change.