EFL Championship Preview: Wolves to end Cottagers run:
Fulham host Wolves in the late EFL Championship game on Saturday, with both sides chasing promotion. Infogol’s Analyst uses underlying expected goals data to generate the best bets.
Fulham Expected Goals (xG)
Fulham’s incredible run of form continued in midweek as they gained a point away at fellow promotion hopefuls Bristol City. This was a tight match with few chances, and in fact, the first time Fulham failed to generate more than 1 xG since a 1-1 draw with Derby in mid-November.
Their run of 11 league games unbeaten, with eight draws, has moved them into the play-off places, almost a deja vu of last season when they surged late. They sit fifth, and, according to Infogol’s expected table, this is where they should be based on performances.
However, they are only eighth best when it comes to defensive statistics, with the four teams above them and three below them all being more solid. They have conceded 40.1 xG this season, an average of 1.2 per game, and whilst this appears low, it shows that they give their opponents on average two ‘big’ chances per game – which could be exploited by the league’s best attack.
Wolves Expected Goals (xG)
Wolves conceded a late equaliser against Norwich in midweek, a frustrating result that saw their lead at the top trimmed to nine points. They remain a really tough team to beat, though, losing just one of their last 19 league games thanks to a series of impressive defensive displays.
Only Sheffield United have been better than Wolves defensively this season, with the league leaders averaging less than one expected goal against per match (0.8 xGA per game). If they can maintain this defensive process they won’t lose many games from now until the end of the season.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s team have been head and shoulders above anyone else in the league this season, and they have performed very close to how they would be expected to based on chances created. While they may have had some luck at points, they deserve to be runaway leaders.
This could be a game too far for Fulham, whose run is expected to be brought to an end by the league leaders in what could be a low-scoring match.
Wolves to win @ 13/8