Tottenham vs Manchester United Match Preview

It's Tottenham vs Manchester United on Wednesday - with spurs finding themsleves two points outside of the top four. Infogol's Analyst previews the big game using underlying expected goal (xG) stats to advise the best bets.

The Analyst was in great form over the weekend, landing both bets in the Valencia vs Real Madrid Preview, and three out of four in the Championship betting preview. Read on to check out his tips for the big game.

Tottenham Expected Goals (xG)

Tottenham missed a golden opportunity, with Liverpool losing to Swansea, to close the gap on the top four ahead of this tough run of fixtures, struggling to break Southampton down (1-1) in a tight game at St Mary’s (TOT 1.5 – 1.2 SOU xG) last time. This was followed by another below-par attacking display in the FA Cup against Newport (1-1), leaving Mauricio Pochettino plenty to ponder ahead of this big game.

According to Infogol’s expected table, Tottenham have been the third best team in the league this season, behind only Manchester City and Liverpool. They have performed almost exactly as expected so far, and are only outside of the top four thanks to over-performance from their opponents in this match Manchester United and Chelsea.


Tottenham’s numbers: Preforming as expected this season 

Spurs create a lot of good chances on a consistent basis, so they will undoubtedly cause Manchester United problems in this match. And in Harry Kane they have the top scorer in the league (21) and the player with the highest xG (18xG) of anyone in the league – so if Tottenham are to get three points in this match, they need him at his best.


Contributors for Spurs: beside the front four, Ben Davies is next best


Manchester United Expected Goals (xG) 

Manchester United continued their good run of form with a 1-0 victory over Burnley, their third straight win and fourth straight clean sheet. They were once again fortunate to come away with all three points though as they were second best on chances created (MNU 0.8 – 1.1 BUR xG). This has been the story of their season so far, as they are fortunate to have accumulated as many points as they have.

Jose Mourinho’s side sit in sixth in Infogol’s expected table, which suggests that they have actually been only the sixth best team in the league so far this season – even behind Arsenal. They have ‘over-scored’ according to the chances they have generated this season, with an actual goal total of 49 and an expected goal total of 42.5.


United fortunate in defence: De Gea to thank?


But their main ‘over-performance’ this season has been in defence. They have the joint ‘best’ defence in the league according to number of goals conceded (16), but they have out-performed their expected goals against by 17 goals – and have the seventh best defence according to expected goals.

All being well, if Mourinho leaves his bus in Manchester, an entertaining game is expected at Wembley, with both teams having a host of attacking talent at their disposal. This game could have huge significance in the race for the top four, with the visitors not yet guaranteed anything.

Tottenham vs Manchester United Tips

Selection – BTTS @ 4/5

Both teams are averaging above 1.7 xG per game, so both will create chances and at least one ‘big’ chance. Both teams scoring looks a good price at 4/5 and is worth backing.


Selection – Tottenham @ 5/4

Tottenham are taken to win this one, with Manchester United’s defence expected to give up chances once again – and this time be punished.


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