Premier League Picks Utilizing Expected Goals (xG): Gameweek 14 Midweek Matches

Written By The xG Philosophy on November 29, 2021

Gameweek 13 proved an unlucky one for utilizing Expected Goals for Premier League picks. Watford beat Leicester comfortably on xG despite being projected at 17.0% by oddsmakers to triumph, but fell to an unfortunate defeat. Meanwhile, Man Utd (15.6%) couldn’t hold on to defeat Chelsea for what also would’ve given us a handsome payout.

Still, the implied chance that none of our three picks would win last week (the Burnley match got postponed) was 63.7%. In other words, the probability that one match or more would win was just 36.3%.

We tend to back selections at such long odds (where there is perceived value) that all it takes is a handful of wins to come in and we’ll see our returns improve drastically. We saw evidence of this earlier in the season, when a number of tips landed in quick succession.

Despite the down week, we’re still +11.16pts in profit after ten weeks of picks in this column and looking to bounce back midweek with a full billing of Premier League fixtures from Tuesday to Thursday.

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. Arsenal

Thursday, Dec. 2, 3:15 p.m. ET

xG Analysis

Our primary match from this midweek’s action comes from Old Trafford, where Man Utd host an Arsenal team who have struggled away from home so far this season. The Gunners have been beaten on xG in five of their six away matches this season (against Brentford, Man City, Brighton, Leicester and Liverpool).

The Gunners have conceded more xG than they’ve created so far this campaign, holding an xG differential of -2.87(xG) over the course of the 13 matches they’ve played.

Moreover, Mikel Arteta’s side have struggled greatly against other ‘big 6’ clubs so far. They’ve conceded an average of 3.48(xG) in matches against Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool this season.

Man Utd have had their own struggles, which we’ve documented extensively in these columns. However, there were signs of tactical improvements in this weekend’s performance against Chelsea.

The bookmakers are giving Man Utd a 50.0% chance of triumphing against Arsenal, but we feel that the quality in the Man Utd squad means the game should be slightly more one-sided than this.

Best Manchester United Odds

Tottenham vs. Brentford

Thursday, Dec. 2, 2:30 p.m. ET

xG Analysis

Brentford travel to Tottenham off the back of victory against Everton this weekend. The Bees are currently priced by the bookies at just 17.9%, despite beating Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea on xG already this campaign.

Brentford’s deep-lying 5-3-2 formation has reaped rewards against the bigger clubs that they’ve faced so far, although they have sometimes struggled to create chance when using this system against weaker sides in the division.

They’ll be sure to make it a difficult game for the Spurs, who themselves have been poor from an xG perspective. The hosts have created just 13.54(xG) this campaign, with only Aston Villa, Newcastle and Norwich accumulating a lesser total (albeit, Spurs have played one game less).

We think there’s value in backing a Brentford win in this Thursday night clash.

Best Available Brentford Odds

Watford vs. Chelsea

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2:30 p.m. ET

xG Analysis

It’s hard to ignore Chelsea among Premier League picks right now. Chelsea are on red-hot form at this moment, having won each of their last five Premier League encounters by more than 1.90(xG) – in other words, they created enough chances to score at least two goals more than their opponents. In that time, they have accumulated 13.39(xG) and conceded just 2.39(xG), a truly remarkable set of stats.

The Hornets have not been on such flying form this term, having triumphed on xG in just four of their 13 matches so far. Whilst there have been signs of improvement under Ranieri, we expect them to be outclassed this week.

The operators are pricing at 72.5%, but our model suggests this match should be even more comfortable for the Blues.

Best Available Chelsea Odds

Wolves vs. Burnley

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2:30 p.m. ET

xG Analysis

Burnley make the trip to Molineaux on Wednesday evening hoping to achieve only their second win of the season. They’ve triumphed on xG just once since Gameweek 7, and are likely to struggle against a Wolves side who are performing well at the moment.

The difference in quality between the two sides is clearly outlined by the difference in xG differential so far this season, with Wolves registering +1.75(xG) and Burnley clicking -7.38(xG). Note that the xG differential is the total xG created minus by the overall xG conceded over the course of the season so far.

The bookmakers are giving Wolves a 52.4% chance of triumphing, but we believe that probability should be upwards of 60%, thus creating Premier League picks value.

Best Available Wolverhampton Odds

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