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.
Birmingham lifted themselves into 11th place in the Championship after a 1-0 win against Blackburn on Tuesday.
However, Pep Clotet’s men are still struggling to create opportunities going forward, averaging 0.92 xGF per game so far this season, ranking as the worst attacking team in the league. Their defence is strong, especially at home, and they don’t give up chances easily. (Just 0.80 xGF per game on average at St Andrews).
Luton lost 3-2 at Fulham on Wednesday night but according to xG (FUL 2.93 – LUT 1.16), the scoreline was closer than Luton deserved. That defeat leaves the Hatters in 18th place and with Graeme Jones’ side finding it difficult to create good chances away from home, this will be tough/
Both sides have a poor attacking output, so goals could be hard to come by. We reckon there’s a 61% chance that there will be under 2.5 goals, making the 3/4 on offer at the moment, good value.
Selection: Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 3/4.
Huddersfield were lucky to escape their midweek home game with Middlesbrough with a point, generating just 0.54 xGF in what was a terrible performance from Danny Cowley’s men (xG: HUD 0.54 – 2.28 MID).
Creating chances has been a problem area for the Terriers all season, averaging a lowly 0.97 xGF per game, ranking as the second-worst attack in the Championship behind Birmingham.
Bottom of the table Barnsley let a two-goal lead slip at West Brom on Tuesday night, eventually drawing 2-2 (xG: WBA 0.66 – 0.43 BAR), with three of the night’s goals coming from low-probability chances (5%, 4% and 4%), and the other being an own goal.
The Reds have found it extremely hard to create scoring chances away from home this season, managing an average of just 0.80 xGF, but they have been unfortunate to concede as many as they have on their travels (12 goals from 8.85 xGA).
A low-scoring game is expected, and Infogol has found value in backing under 2.5 goals. We reckon it should be priced at 3/4 (57%), but is available to be backed at 17/20 (50%)
Selection: Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 17/20.
Hull enter this game on the back of a fully deserved 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest in midweek lifting them to 15th place in the table.
They should be much higher according to Infogol’s xG table, ranking as the fourth best team in the league.
The Tigers have the personnel to cause problems for any team at this level, ranking as the fifth-best attacking side in the league, averaging 1.44 xGF per game.
Both Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki look too good to be playing in the Championship.
Derby snatched a vital three points thanks a stoppage-time winner on Wednesday night, beating Wigan 1-0 at home, but were forunate to do so based on the chances created (xG: DER 1.15 – 1.35 WIG).
According to xG, Phillip Cocu’s side have been horrendous at both ends away from Pride Park this season, averaging a measly 0.89 xGF, and allowing chances equating to 2.14 xGA per game. Derby are winless away from home since the opening day of the season, and that is expected to continue.
Infogol’s model gives the Tigers a 49% chance (21/20) of gaining three points – making the 11/10 (46%) on offer good value.
Selection: Hull to win @ 11/10.
Middlesbrough were unfortunate to not pick up all three points against Huddersfield on Wednesday night, having been the better team with Ashley Fletcher missing a guilt-edged chance to score (70%) early in the second half.
Jonathan Woodgate’s side have been unlucky not to score more goals this season (11 goals from 16.37 xGF), but have also been allowing plenty of scoring opportunities against them, averaging 1.54 xGF per game.
Fulham were easily the better team in their 3-2 home win over strugglers Luton, with Aleksander Mitrovic notching a hat-trick, helping move Scott Parker’s side up to seventh place in the table.
The Cottagers have been playing expansive football, which is understandable considering the attacking talent they possess, but that is leading to chances at both ends, with their matches averaging a total of 2.81 xG per game this season.
Matches involving either of these teams generally means there will be goals.
Selection: Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ @ 8/11.
*An accumulator on these four selections pays just over 10/1 at the prices which are correct at time of publishing