Premier League Picks Utilizing Expected Goals (xG): Gameweek 15

Written By The xG Philosophy on December 3, 2021
premier league picks

There’s no rest for the wicked this week, with another full billing of EPL fixtures and Premier League picks taking place over the course of the weekend.

This time of the year is great for betting as a flurry of games means you can get a good handle of which teams are performing well and which aren’t (although unfortunately the bookies also have the same advantage).

Through eleven gameweeks, this column is +10.54 units, a fairly decent return and one we’re looking to build on this weekend.

For a further explanation of how we use xG to identify the value in the market, check out our “What is xG?” page or pick up a copy of “The Expected Goals Philosophy“.

We have bet one unit on each of the following matches, unless stated otherwise.

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Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace

Sunday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. ET

xG Analysis

Our model has seemed to enjoy backing Man Utd matches in recent weeks, and it’s done so again this weekend as the Red Devils host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

The Eagles have been on good form of late, accumulating an average of 0.70(xG) more than their opponents per game across their last six matches – that’s the fourth best xG differential over that time period in the whole league, behind only Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Crystal Palace have been particularly strong in defense, conceding just 15.74(xG) across the fourteen matches they’ve played so far (that’s 9.35 xG less than Man Utd have conceded this season).

The Red Devils’ struggles have been documented extensively in this column, and we feel the books are drastically overvaluing their chance of winning this match at 64.1%. As such, we’ll be backing a Crystal Palace victory at odds of 14.3%.

Best Available Crystal Palace Odds

Aston Villa vs. Leicester City

Sunday, Dec. 5, 11:30 a.m. ET

xG Analysis

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa team welcome Leicester City to Villa Park in the late kick-off on Sunday afternoon.

The Villans were fairly lucky to win their first game under Gerrard in a match where Crystal Palace managed to accumulate 0.82 xG to Aston Villa’s 0.55 xG. They did give Man City a good match this midweek, although they deservedly ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline. In short, it’s hard to know how highly to rate this Aston Villa team at the moment.

Looking at the two teams’ xG differential over the last eight games can glean some insight into their strength. Aston Villa have conceded 5.18 xG more than they’ve created over this period, whilst Leicester have only conceded 1.45 xG more than they’ve created.

In other words, both these sides have looked a shadow of their former selves this season and are probably below average in quality. However, with Leicester being very generously priced at 32.3% to win this game, we’ll be taking the value on a potential Foxes victory in this week’s Premier League picks.

Best Available Leicester City Odds

Leeds United vs. Brentford

Sunday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. ET

xG Analysis

Leeds host Brentford this Sunday in what could prove to be a huge game down at the bottom end of the table come the end of the season.

Brentford have been the league’s xG darlings so far this campaign, consistently outscoring their opposition in Expected Goals but at times struggling to turn those performances into results. The Bees have still only lost five of their 14 matches on xG so far this term.

Leeds are another team who have struggled to replicate their form from last season. Bielsa’s men are particularly leaky at the back, having conceded 22.64(xG) so far this campaign.

We fancy Brentford to provide value at odds of 25% in this match, in what should be a close encounter between two teams of a similar standard.

Best Available Brentford Odds

Everton vs. Arsenal

Monday, Dec. 6, 3 p.m. ET

xG Analysis

Arsenal make the trip up to Merseyside on Monday evening with their away form something of a concern. We documented their away struggles when backing them to lose to Man Utd in our midweek Premier League picks, a match they once again lost on xG. We think there’s again value in betting against the Gunners.

Everton have struggled in recent weeks, but the returning Richarlison and Gray looked sharp at times against Liverpool on Wednesday evening. If these two can hit top form, they could be a real problem for Arsenal’s backline.

The hosts are priced at 28.6% and our model is suggesting we stake 0.5 units on the Toffees to cause an upset in this game.

Best Available Everton Odds

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