Brighton vs Leicester | Saturday 6th March 2021, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Brighton, Brighton, Brighton. How have you only managed to secure 26 points from the same number of games this season?!
I am a huge fan of Expected Goals (xG). I recognise that it is not the be all and end all – for example last week Brighton’s xG of 3.1 against West Brom was heavily influenced by two very debatable penalties going their way – and certain sides (e.g. Brighton under Potter and any Pulis/Dyche side) seem to under or over perform their data year after year.
However, essentially, it is a dataset that tells you how many chances a side create and how many they concede. The simple truth is that various other metrics will tell you that The Seagulls have been unfortunate/missed too many chances this season.
For example, across their last three matches they have had 66 shots – 20 of which were on target – and scored one goal. Generally around 30% of shots on target end in a goal, suggesting they should have scored at least six times across that sample, with their expected goals total coming to eight across these matches.
Brighton’s opponents Leicester are currently third, having amassed 50 points this season but their Expected Points (xP) are three fewer than Brighton. The Foxes have drawn one and lost two of their last three matches in all competitions and this has coincided with the absence of Harvey Barnes and James Maddison.
Barnes came on after 61 minutes against Spartak Prague, went off injured just after half time against Arsenal and missed the game against Burnley. Maddison has not featured in any of these matches and neither are fit for the trip to the south coast. These two players are a potent force, combining for 17 of their sides 43 goals and nine of their 28 assists.
Without them both Leicester laboured to a 1-1 draw against Burnley, who offer a lot less threat than Brighton. If they were both fit I would expect Brendan Rodgers’s side to be marginal favourites but without them I think the home side are worth a few pennies at 6/4.
I take confidence from the fact that they have beaten Spurs and Liverpool in the last couple of months so while the league table suggests 6/4 is short, I believe the Sussex outfit will continue to create a high volume of chances and edge this one.
As well as backing Brighton to win, I will take them to win 1-0 with 15/2 with Bet365. Each of their last three victories have been by this scoreline and in what I expect to be a tight game, this looks like the way to go to me.