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.
West Ham were disappointing against Aston Villa last Monday night, never able to create good chances and conceding opportunities to a team that have been struggling (xG: AST 1.37 – 0.61 WHU).
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have allowed 2.10 xGA per game so far this season, picking up from where they left off last term (1.79 xGA per game 18/19).
These defensive issues haven’t been addressed.
The Hammers pose an obvious threat in attack with the likes of Sébastien Haller, Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson, but if they mis-fire like they did on Monday, they’ll blunted again against a Manchester United side now boast the best defensive process in the Premier League after five matches, allowing just 0.78 xGA per game.
A much-needed 1-0 win against Leicester last weekend, (followed by a lacklustre 1-0 success in the Europa Cup) has eased the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjær, as United’s defence continues to be its strong point.
The signings of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka looks to have paid off and while United have issues in attack, a heavy reliance on penalties with four in five games, their attacking process will improve in time.
Given West Ham’s defensive weakness and United’s defensive strengths, Infogol suggest that United have the better chance of winning.
Selection: Back Manchester United to win @ 6/5
Crystal Palace were unfortunate to lose so heavily at Tottenham last weekend when Spurs put on a finishing clinic to win 4-0.
Roy Hodgson’s side have been shaky in defence all season, allowing their opposition to create chances equating to 1.51 xG per game on average, while Wolves have yet to win a game in the Premier League so far. They were very poor in a 1-0 defeat against Sporting Braga at Molineux on Thursday.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side’s defensive vulnerabilities recently, is something we rarely saw last season. They’re averaged 1.9 xGA in their last three Premier League matches and were soundly beaten 5-2 by Chelsea last Saturday.
Wolves have been involved in some entertaining games and that can continue against Palace. Our model points to a 56% chance of both teams scoring in the match so the evens on offer with Paddy Power is the value play.
Selection: Both teams to score at 1/1.
Arsenal sit in seventh place in the Premier League, but are ranked as the 12th best team in the league, according to our xG model.
Unai Emery’s side were dreadful in the 2-2 at Watford last Sunday and were very fortunate to leave with a point, conceding a huge 3.06 xGA, and generating just 0.85 xGF.
The Gunners did put in a much improved display in the Europa League on Thursday, comfortably winning 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt, racking up 3.46 xGF in a fantastic attacking performance (xG: SGE 1.76 – 3.46 ARS).
Aston Villa languish in 17th place on just four points, but did show signs of life in the 0-0 draw on MNF against West Ham, where they were the much better team according to xG (xG: AST 1.37 – 0.61 WHU).
Dean Smith’s side have looked poor going forward, especially away from home, averaging a meager 0.51 xGF on their travels.
With Arsenal long odds on, we’ll look to another market. Infogol give a 53% chance to at least one team keeping a clean sheet so the 11/8 (42%) for both team to score ‘No’ looks a value play.
Selection: Both teams to score ‘No’ @ 11/8
*Prices correct a time of publishing but prices are fluid
A treble on these selections pays just over 9/1 approx
- Manchester United to win vs West Ham @ 6/5
- Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ in Crystal Palace vs Wolves @ Evens
- Both Teams to Score ‘No’ in Arsenal vs Aston Villa @ 11/8