Son to shine at the Bridge: Chelsea vs Tottenham Preview
Chelsea take on Tottenham in the Premier League’s big game this weekend, with the result having an impact on who finishes in the top four. Infogol’s Analyst uses expected goals (xG) to generate the best bets for the game.
The pressure is on Chelsea
Chelsea Expected Goals (xG)
Chelsea went into the international break on a run of four defeats and two wins from their last six Premier League games, results that now leave them five points adrift of the top four. Infogol calculates that Chelsea have just a 17% chance of making the top four, but a win against top four rivals Spurs would increase that to 33%.
How the outcome in this game effects each teams chances of finishing in the top four
It’s been a more normal campaign for Chelsea after their over-performance last season, with their underlying numbers not too dissimilar to those recorded during their title success. They have an xGD per game of 0.7 this term – just 0.1 worse than last season – so their process has remained similar, but they just haven’t picked up as many “undeserved” points.
The Blues have been better going forward this year, averaging 1.7 xG per game, so do create chances in matches. This may be a tougher test than many games, though, and it will be interesting to see whether Antonio Conte opts for a traditional centre forward or a false nine. Either way, Chelsea should get on the scoresheet.
Kane-less Spurs still pose a big threat
Tottenham Expected Goals (xG)
Tottenham are on a great run in the league, currently unbeaten in 12 matches with nine wins in that time. They beat Bournemouth 4-1 in their last outing, a game in which they were dominant from start to finish (xG: BOU 1.4 – 2.6 TOT).
Spurs are in the driving seat in terms of a top four finish thanks to that five-point cushion, but know the result in this match can affect their chances (goes from 92% to 83% with a defeat). Their process remains the third best in the league, behind only Manchester City and Liverpool, and they are averaging just over 2 xG per game this season. Even without Harry Kane, they carry a serious threat to Chelsea.
Infogol's Premier League Expected Goals table - top 6
Heung-Min Son has been an important player for Spurs, and his input in terms of expected goals (xG) has increased on last season. His xG per 90 minutes is up from 0.2 to 0.4, so he is finding himself in better positions to get on the end of chances, and he may well have a say in this match.
Chelsea and Tottenham both have a very good attacking process so are expected to create plenty of chances, meaning both teams to score looks a sensible bet. In Harry Kane’s absence, Heung-Min Son carries Tottenham’s goal threat, and the 23/10 price on him to score anytime looks a fair bet.
Both teams to score @ 4/5
Son Heung-Min to score anytime @ 23/10