The “Arsenal are back” mania was put on hold last weekend after another typical Arsenal performance on the road, a game they were in total control of that ended in a draw.
However, they did limit Palace to few chances and were unfortunate to concede, though they did lose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for this game after a straight red card, which is a huge blow.
The bigger picture looks good for Arsenal, and I believe that Mikel Arteta is the sort of coach that can improve them, but for the time being, they will continue being Arsenal, and playing without consistency, shown by their record under Arteta in the league (1W, 2D, 1L).
Sheffield United moved back into the top six after a victory over West Ham last Friday night, and while VAR was the main headline after ruling out a potential late equaliser for the Hammers, the Blades ultimately deserved the win (xG: SHU 1.94 – 0.97 WHU).
The rank as the ninth best team in the league according to expected goals, a place above Arsenal in Infogol’s xG table, and boast a fantastic process for a team just promoted from the Championship (1.60 xGF, 1.42 xGA per game).
Not only are the Blades an even match for Arsenal, they have an excellent away record, losing only two of their 11 away games, with those defeats coming against the two best teams in the league (Liverpool, Manchester City).
We think this will be an uncomfortable afternoon for Arsenal, and think both teams to score is the way to go. We calculate a 57% (1.75) chance of both teams scoring here, meaning the 1.85 (54%) on offer represents a small bit of value.
Selection: Back BTTS @ 3/4
What a run Southampton are on. This upturn in form was coming, as according to expected goals the Saints had been performing like a top half team all season long, and Infogol suggests they will continue to climb the table.
They were utterly dominant at Leicester last weekend (xG: LEI 0.74 – 2.47 SOU), fully deserving the three points after a fantastic display, and adding to their list of scalps following wins over Chelsea and Tottenham too.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side were extremely unfortunate to only draw 1-1 with Newcastle last weekend as we calculate that they had a better chance of winning 3-0 (16%) than drawing 1-1 (3.6%), according to chances created.
Their process is exceptional this season (1.69 xGF, 1.32 xGA per game), and has actually got better from their seventh-place finish last season (1.54 xGF, 1.23 xGA per game), so they will be sticking around the top six.
Two decent teams do battle here, with both looking strong in attack, so expect plenty of goals at St Mary’s.
Selection: Back Over 2.5 Goals @ EVS
West Ham suffered their first defeat of the second David Moyes era last time out, as they were beaten 1-0 at Sheffield United, a fully deserved defeat despite the VAR controversy (xG: SHU 1.94 – 0.97 WHU).
That is one win and one defeat in Moyes’ first two Premier League games, and the worrying thing for the Hammers is that Sheffield United exposed their defensive vulnerabilities again – they haven’t disappeared with Manuel Pellegrini.
Over the course of the season the Hammers have allowed an average of 2.12 xGA per game, the second worst defensive record in the league according to expected goals, and have conceded the most non-penalty big chances this season (48).
Everton have made a good start to life under Carlo Ancelotti in the Premier League, winning three and losing one (to Manchester City), with all three of their wins deserved according to expected goals.
Since his arrival, the Toffees have created plenty of chances in matches, averaging 2.09 xGF per game, and come up against one of the worst defensive teams in the Premier League here, so will be rubbing their hands.
Ancelotti has been playing a very attack-minded system and XI since his arrival, looking to make Everton entertaining to watch, and this is a game where that set-up should pay dividends.
We make Everton strong favourites to win this game.
Selection: Back Everton to win @ 7/5
- Arsenal v Sheff Utd: BTTS @ 3/4
- Southampton v Wolves: Over 2.5 Goals @ EVS
- West Ham v Everton: Everton to win @ 7/5
A treble on these three selections returns £/€8.40 including stake on pp.com. Odds correct at time of posting, subject to change.