Weekend Review - Premier League (GW4), La Liga (GW3)
Using expected goals (xG), Infogol’s Analyst reviews the weekend’s action from the Premier League and La Liga, assessing performances and not just results to paint a clearer picture of the week’s matches, including selecting a Team to Back next time.
West Ham eased the pressure on Slaven Bilic with a deserved 2-0 victory over Huddersfield on Monday night, a game in which they created a number of good chances. Manchester City took advantage of Liverpool being reduced to 10-men, hitting them for five at the Etihad. This was a deserved win for Pep Guardiola’s team, though they were fortunate to score as many as they did.
Arsenal got back to winning ways by beating Bournemouth convincingly 3-0, while Manchester United were held to a 2-2 by Stoke, as they once again created a lot of high-quality chances. Newcastle gained their second win on the bounce, edging out Swansea 1-0 in a tight game, helping to ease the pressure on Rafa Benitez.
Spurs (3-0), Watford (2-0) and Chelsea (2-1) all recorded away wins against Everton, Southampton and Leicester respectively. Spurs were impressive in getting the three points, while Watford and Chelsea were somewhat fortunate having created few quality chances.
Brighton were very fortunate in their 3-1 victory over West Brom at the weekend, as they generated just 0.48 xG but scored three goals. There was just a 1.2% chance that they would score three from the chances they created, so West Brom can count themselves unlucky.
The most ‘unfair’ result of the weekend took place at Turf Moor, and arguably cost Frank de Boer his job as Crystal Palace manager, as they went down 1-0 to Burnley. Palace played well and generated a lot of good chances – 2.12 xG – while conceding few – 0.29 xG. Infogol calculates that from the chances created by both teams, Burnley had just a 4% chance of winning the game. Frank de Boer can count himself unlucky not to have been given a few more games at least.
GW5 Team to Back – West Ham
Having got their first win of the season on Monday, and a good performance to go with the result, West Ham are fancied to make it back-to-back wins as they travel to play West Brom. Though West Brom were unlucky against Brighton, their performances so far this season haven’t been great - West Ham look a good bet at 12/5.
Atletico Madrid’s slow start to the season continued as they were held 0-0 by Valencia in what was a very ‘fair’ result as neither team created many high-quality chances. Contrastingly, Barcelona had no such problems in their derby match with Espanyol, generating 5.85 xG in a comfortable 5-0 home win meaning they top the table after three matches.
Celta Vigo registered their first win of the season in comfortable fashion, beating Alaves 1-0 after creating a host of chances. Real Sociedad made it three wins from three thanks to another very impressive performance, beating Deportivo in a 4-2 thriller.
Sevilla were convincing winners over Eibar (3-0), as were Las Palmas (3-1) who got their first win of the season away at struggling Malaga. Athletic Bilbao are beginning to kick into gear and they too were deserved winners over Girona (2-0).
Villarreal got their first win of the season but were fortunate to do so in what was a tight game with Real Betis. Both teams had their chances, but Villarreal were fortunate to score as many as they did in the 3-1 win.
Real Madrid were held at home again, this time by newly-promoted Levante. They were very unfortunate once again though, as they created a host of chances – 3.29 xG – but only managed a 1-1 draw. Real look to be desperate for the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, as Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale continue to squander high-probability chances.
The most ‘unfair’ result of the week in La Liga was Getafe’s 2-1 win at Leganes. Getafe generated very few chances but managed to score twice, while Leganes generated more high quality chances, scoring just once. Leganes can count themselves unlucky not to have made it three wins from three.
GW4 Team to Back – Sevilla
Sevilla have looked impressive so far this season, creating plenty of chances on a consistent basis, and they made light work of Eibar last time. They face a Girona team in GW4 that were comfortably beaten by Bilbao, and at a price of 11/10 Sevilla look a good bet to get the win.