After a good start to life as St Etienne manager, things have taken a turn for the worst for Claude Puel, and his side come into this game having won just one of their last six. They have been second best in four of their last six league games according to expected goals, so this really isn’t a great Les Verts side, and they are averaging a measly 1.09 xGF per game, so creating chances is their main issue.
Nantes sit in the lofty position of fifth heading into this game, though that flatters them somewhat, as the Canaries rank as only the 11th best team in the league on expected goals. Their process is really interesting, as they have generated an average of just 0.99 xGF per game, while allowing just 0.99 xGA per game, so what that tells us is that Nantes’ games are usually far from entertaining.
In 13 of their 19 league games, Nantes have gone under 2.5 goals, so we can expect another tight encounter here, and when few goals are expected, the draw becomes a serious runner, but we think fence-sitting is the way to go in this one.
Selection: The draw @ 15/8.
Torino had a successful return to action last weekend. They went to the Stadio Olimpico and beat Roma 2-0, though they were hugely fortunate according to expected goals (xG: ROM 2.46 – 1.93 TOR).
That has been the story of their season, as Walter Mazzari’s side have ridden their luck throughout the campaign to sit ninth in the table, though based on xG they have been the third worst team in Serie A.
Process-wise they are struggling in attack (1.27 xGF per game) while looking vulnerable in defence (1.74 xGA per game), so don’t expect their current form to continue (10 points from five games). Bologna were unfortunate to only draw with Fiorentina last time out (xG: BOL 1.14 – 0.34 FIO), and prior to that had beaten Lecce and Atalanta, with those wins coming after they had just beaten Napoli away from home.
Bologna are no joke in Serie A, and they create plenty of good chances on a regular basis (1.71 xGF per game), so look the more likely winners of this one from a data perspective.
Infogol suggests the value here is to get onside with the visitors.
Selection: Bologna to win @ 21/10.
The big European game of the weekend comes from the Italian capital, as Roma host reigning champions Juventus.
As discussed already, Roma were beaten by Torino last weekend, but were unfortunate to lose after a strong attacking display, something they have had no problems with this season, ranking as the third best attacking team in the league according to xG (2.03 xGF per game).
Defensively there are still improvements to be made (1.29 xGA per game), but they will be looking to cause Juve problems with their vibrant and dynamic attacking play, something Infogol sees as highly likely.
Juventus thrashed Cagliari 4-0 in their first game back from the winter break, but don’t get too carried away with their domination, as while Cagliari sit sixth in the table, they rank as the worst team in the league on xG.
Maurizio Sarri’s team have left a lot to be desired this season, as they sit sixth in our xG table despite their process being solid (2.01 xGF, 1.25 xGA per game). They have just had too many games in which they have ‘lost the xG battle’.
Juve aren’t the defensive force they used to be, and have kept only six clean-sheets this season, with Infogol not expecting them to add to that tally here in what should be an entertaining and exciting game.
Goals is the way to go at the Olimpico.
Selection: Over 2.5 Goals @ 13/20.
*Prices are correct at time of posting and the treble comes to just over 13/1 at these prices.