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.
A face-off between the bottom two in the Bundesliga. FC Köln needed a last-gasp equaliser from Jonas Hector to snatch a 1-1 draw at Schalke last time out, although they didn’t deserve to gain a point according to xG (xG: SCH 1.97 – 1.23 FCK).
Schalke missed two huge opportunities to score (49% and 48%) before the late goal.
The ‘Billy Goats’ are struggling in attack so far this season, averaging a lowly 1.08 xGF per game, but have been unlucky to concede as many as they have (16 goals from 11.89 xGA).
According to XGs, Paderborn were deservedly beaten 2-1 by Mainz in their last game (xG: PAD 1.45 – 2.95 MAI), adding a fourth game to their losing streak, leaving them detached at the bottom of the Bundesliga table.
Steffen Baumgart’s men remain winless this season, with their only point coming from a 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg in August. Much like their opponents, Paderborn are struggling to create chances this season, averaging just 1.24 xGF per game.
In what looks like a relegation six-pointer, a tense game can be expected between two poor attacking sides.
So, under 3.5 goals looks the smart play.
Selection: Under 3.5 Goals @ 4/5
Espanyol suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Mallorca last time out, resulting in manager David Gallego being fired and replaced by Pablo Machín, but they were unfortunate to lose that match based on chances created, limiting Mallorca to very little (xG: MAL 0.74 – 1.30 ESP).
They currently sit in 19th place in La Liga, struggling to score goals (four goals in eight games), but they have been creating opportunities (9.11 xGF), and are in desperate need of improvement in the finishing department.
Villarreal were also defeated in their last match, losing 2-1 at newly-promoted Osasuna, leaving them ninth in the table, but they created more than enough chances to gain at least a point from that game (xG: OSA 1.42 – 2.65 VIL).
Javi Calleja’s side have been the entertainers of the La Liga season so far (matches average 3.41 xG), currently ranking as the best attacking team in the league, averaging a massive 2.19 xGF per game.
Pablo Machin will bring a much more attacking mindset to this struggling Espanyol side, and considering Villarreal’s potent attack, the 10/11 on offer (52% chance of happening) for over 2.5 goals looks fantastic value. The Infogol model gives it a 68% chance of happening.
Selection: Over 2.5 Goals @ 10/11
AC Milan enter this game in 13th place in the league, losing four of their opening seven matches. They were fortunate to come away with a 2-1 win at Genoa before the international break, with Genoa missing a stoppage-time penalty .
Stefano Pioli has been appointed as manager following Marco Giampaolo’s sacking last week, and he will be hoping to improve the Rossoneri’s attacking output, which has struggled to fire, scoring just six goals in seven games (9.33 xGF).
Newly-promoted Lecce dropped into the relegation zone after a 3-1 defeat at Atalanta last time out, but they were fortunate not to concede more, allowing Atalanta to create good chances at will (xG: ATA 4.17 – 1.28 LEC).
That has been a continuous theme throughout the season for the Giallorossi, They rank as the worst defensive side in Serie A by a considerable margin, conceding chances equating to 2.37 xGA per game on average.
Lecce have shown the ability to grab a goal, but their defence has been terribly porous so far this season./ The 13/20 for over 2.5 goals looks a smart play.
Selection: Over 2.5 Goals @ 13/20
*The treble on these selections pays approx 9/2 at the prices above that are correct at time of publishing