Tottenham can’t run from xG forever
Manchester City vs Tottenham
Goalscorer: Raheem Sterling to score anytime @ 6/5
Raheem Sterling (0.4 xG/avg match) has accumulated the most xG (7.5) at Manchester City this season, once again proving he truly is invaluable for the former champions. Sterling also has eight goals to his name this term, which is only bettered by Ilkay Gundogan (9) at the club.
With City now rediscovering their winning form, Sterling looked electric against Liverpool last weekend, his tricky and marauding runs causing chaos for Liverpool’s back line. His performance at Anfield was exceptional, and he fully deserved his goal to round it off. It would be no surprise if he followed up with another against Tottenham.
Carded: Ben Davies to be booked @ 11/4
It seems only a matter of time until Ben Davies receives a booking this season, currently yet to be carded despite making 18 fouls. For perspective, last campaign the Welshman received six yellow cards from a total of 27 fouls, suggesting his clean record can’t go on for much longer. Tottenham will be braced for waves of Manchester City pressure, and it shouldn’t be a quiet evening for Davies in defence.
Same Game Multi: Raheem Sterling to score anytime, Ilkay Gundogan to have 1+ shot on target and under 3.5 goals @ 6.71
Although the talismanic Sergio Aguero has been training this week, it’s likely this game will come too soon for the Argentinian to be involved. City will therefore have to rely on their top scorers, Sterling and Gundogan, to capitalise on their opportunities against Tottenham, with the hosts’ attacking process (2.0 xGF pg) promising a thrilling encounter.
City have failed to win this fixture for the last three renewals despite convincingly winning the xG battle on each occasion. It seems incredibly unlikely Tottenham can continue to be so fortunate, with their underlying numbers (1.0 xGF and 1.4 xGA pg) against the traditional ‘big six’ this season so overwhelmingly poor. The hosts should win this, but don’t expect an abundance of goals.
Maupay to score in entertaining game at the Amex
Goalscorer: Neal Maupay to score anytime @ 13/8
Maybe surprisingly, Neal Maupay ranked among the league’s most efficient forwards last season, recording 0.5 xG/avg match. His 10 goals were crucial to ensuring Brighton maintained their Premier League status, often providing an important goal in decisive moments.
He’s already close to surpassing last campaign’s tally this time around, having scored 7 goals from 10.6 xG. Of course, that’s an underperformance in front of goal, but Maupay has regularly underperformed his xG since Infogol’s records began. The Frenchman certainly isn’t clinical, but he has developed a healthy habit of finding himself in dangerous goal scoring positions, and this can once again pay dividends against Aston Villa.
Carded: Dan Burn to be booked @ 11/5
Alongside Lewis Dunk at centre-half, Dan Burn has been a stalwart at the heart of Brighton’s defence. They’ve both picked up four yellow cards this season, although Burn has committed more fouls, meaning the price discrepancy between the pair to receive a caution arguably shouldn’t exist. However, Dunk is priced at 21/10, while Burn is available at 11/5 for a booking, which ultimately makes him the value selection.
Same Game Multi: Brighton win, BTTS and over 9.5 corners @ 7.50
Brighton are the top-flight’s greatest underachievers according to xG, with Infogol’s expected league table even ranking Graham Potters’ side as high as the sixth best team based on expected points (xP). The Seagulls have recorded outstanding underlying numbers (2.0 xGF and 1.0 xGA pg) at the Amex and yet their first home win came just two weeks ago.
Since then, they’ve deservedly beat Liverpool at Anfield (xG: LIV 0.9 – 1.4 BRI), before drawing with Burnley, and they’ll be high on confidence heading into this game against Aston Villa. Dean Smith’s side won’t be no pushovers, though, currently enjoying a remarkable campaign after narrowly avoiding relegation last term. It is worth noting, Villa have conceded 1.5 xGA per game on the road, and while this should ensure this game has action at both ends, it could prove the visitor’s undoing.
Form is temporary, class is permanent
Arsenal vs Leeds
Goalscorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score anytime @ 11/10
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of goalscoring form has been well documented, although there’s reason to believe Arsenal’s captain can find the back of the net against Leeds. If anyone needed reminding, though, Aubameyang scored 22 goals from 16.1 xG last season – this time around he has just five goals from 6.0 xG. However, when he last started for Arsenal, Aubameyang scored a brace against Newcastle at the Emirates.
The Magpies have conceded an average of 1.6 xGA per game away from home, which allowed Arsenal to provide Aubameyang with adequate service. To add to the intrigue of this bet, Leeds have also looked vulnerable in defence, conceding a staggering 1.9 xGA per game when playing away. it’s likely Aubameyang will be presented with a few golden opportunities here, making him a strong play to get onto the scoresheet.
Carded: Jack Harrison to be booked @ 13/2
Jack Harrison has been a revelation for Leeds under the tutelage of Marcelo Bielsa, an essential component in the Argentinian’s high-pressing system. This could find Harrison catching the referee’s eye on Sunday, though, having already picked up two yellow cards, which perhaps is an unintended consequence of his aggressive approach. The 13/2 makes him an outsider in the cards market, although all things considered it’s a tempting price.
Same Game Multi: Arsenal to win, BTTS and Aubameyang to score anytime @ 4.71
Arsenal have now lost two consecutive games, losing to Wolves before most recently slumping to a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa (xG: AVL 1.1 – 0.9 ARS). Before those poor results, they were enjoying their greatest spell under Mikel Arteta, having averaged 1.6 xGF and 1.2 xGA per game across their last 10 fixtures. Their home win over Chelsea was arguably their best display of the campaign, and if they can hit those heights again, they’ll be hard to beat.
It’s hard to disagree that Leeds have been a wonderful addition to the Premier League, with Bielsa placing an emphasis on attack over defence. This has led to Leeds recording interesting underlying numbers (1.7 xGF and 1.9 xGA pg) this season, which really reflect their mentality on the pitch. This game should therefore deliver as a spectacle at the Emirates, and it seems likely the hosts can win with both sides finding the back of the net.