WE'VE joined forced with renowned punter James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) to set-up and share our Colossus Predictor selections ahead of the weekend.
Leicester vs Newcastle
The weekends Premier League action commences on Friday evening at the King Power Stadium as Leicester welcome Newcastle for what promises to be an intriguing encounter.
Defeats to Brighton and Arsenal are the only blemishes on the form of the Magpies as they have picked up eleven points from their nine top flight fixtures. It is this upturn in results that has seen Steve Bruce steer his side clear of relegation (although this is not mathematically confirmed yet).
Since the beginning of April, only Chelsea (11.59) and Liverpool (9.03) have generated a greater none penalty xG then NUFC, data that coincides with the return to fitness of Allan Saint-Maximin. Since the mercurial Frenchman has returned to the side, Newcastle have looked a much better attacking entity, however, I do not think they will have enough to return North with all three points.
Therefore, I am going to cover a Leicester win and draw.
Selections: Leicester, Draw
Leeds vs Spurs
Marcelo Bielsa’s men have endeared the nation this campaign with exciting football and some crazy results this campaign, including two 4-3, a 5-2 and a 6-2. Whilst, they have been on the end of a few thrashings, especially against the top six, they have held their own in North Yorkshire.
In fact, they have welcomed the big boys to Yorkshire on five occasions- Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd- all of which have ended in draws! This does mean the draw some appeal here- available at 3/1 on the Betfair Exchange- but it is also worth noting that Leeds’ five home games with the big six averaged just 0.8 goals per game, therefore, Under 2.5 goals could also be a bet at odds against.
All things considered though, I am going to favour the vastly more experienced Bielsa to get a result here.
Selections: Leeds, Draw
Sheff Utd vs Crystal Palace
The blandest top flight game of the weekend pits the worst side in the league in Sheffield United against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace. Since the Blades and Chris Wilder parted ways, the side from South Yorkshire have just sauntered back to the second tier.
Whatever the purpose of Paul Heckingbottom’s temporary tenure was, the desired effect has not been achieved. Since the former Barnsley supremo took charge back in March, the Blades have lost six of the seven games he has overseen and they have shipped 17 goals and scored two in the process.
Therefore, I cannot see past an away result at Bramall Lane this weekend, it might even be worth taking Palace to win to nil at odds of around 3/1 with most bookmakers.
Selections: Draw, Crystal Palace
Man City vs Chelsea
This season's confirmed Champions League finalists will lock horns domestically this weekend at the Etihad. Perhaps, crucially the Champions elect will have had an extra 24 hours to prepare for this clash as Chelsea played a day later then them in the UCL earlier this week. However, with John Stones suspended I think the visitors could capitalise.
Since Thomas Tuchel took over Chelsea at the end January, only City (37.06) have generated a better xPTS then them (34.80) as Pep Guardiola’s side have generated just 2.26 more points than Chelsea.
Over that period, Chelsea boast the best xGA (7.41), second best xG (27.66) and have only bested Man City 1-0 in the FA Cup. I expect this to be a tight, cagey fixture but one the visitors could edge. At a tough under even money, Chelsea +0.5 on the asian handicap might be worth a punt.
Selections: Draw, Chelsea
Liverpool vs Southampton
Saturday’s EPL action concludes at Anfield as Liverpool bout with Southampton. Since the turn of the year, the Saints have endured a terrible run of form. In fact since the beginning of 2021, no side- not even Sheff Utd- have taken less points (eleven) or conceded more goals (40) then Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men!
Inconsistency is rife with the hosts, as it has been the case for the majority of this season. They followed a convincing 3-0 win at the Emirates with a loss and win and three draws, the latest of which saw Newcastle snatch a point in the dying seconds of the game. That being said Jürgen Klopp’s side will have enough to secure the three points here.
Wolves vs Brighton
Between them, Wolves and Brighton have drawn just under a third of their Premier League games this season. Whilst this does make the draw hard to overlook, if anyone is going to edge this clash it would be the Seagulls.
Graham Potter’s side- the data sweethearts- have endured tremendous misfortune this campaign. They have scored 16 goals fewer than the xG they have generated, conceded three more goals then their xGA suggests they should have and are 21 points shy of the total they should have collected as per their xPTS.
With Wolves only two wins since the end of February coming against basement boys Sheff Utd and Fulham, it is not hard to oppose them.
Selections: Draw, Brighton
Aston Villa vs Man Utd
The postponement of Manchester United’s bout with Liverpool last Sunday meant their players got a full week's recovery ahead of their trip to Rome in the Europa League. Therefore, even though they only have two days between that game and this one, the Red Devils should be relatively fresh for their trip to Villa Park this weekend.
Staggeringly, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side have only lost four EPL games all season and no EPL side has lost less games then them this year! Their 0-0 draw to Leeds ended a run of five straight victories and I fancy them to make amends against an out of sorts Villa side.
Selections: Man Utd
West Ham vs Everton
Only the two Manchester clubs boast a better points per away game average then Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton. On the road this campaign, the Toffee’s have taken 33 points from 16 games as they have taken points from Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs this season.
West Ham got their top-four push back on track on Monday as they came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor. Following some injuries to key players and back-to-back defeats, concern began to mount as to whether David Moyes could guide the hammers to UCL qualification.
However, Monday’s three points has thrusted them right back into contention and with Chelsea- currently sit one place and three points above them- heading to the Etihad this weekend West Ham will see this as a real opportunity to catch them up.
Therefore, with Antonio back fit and firing I am taking West Ham to get a result here.
Selections: West Ham, Draw
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