Premier League Betting Picks for Matchweek 11: Will Tottenham Top Chelsea?
After a week full of league cup action, the EPL is back!
Matchweek 11 -- which starts on Saturday -- features 10 matches and is highlighted by clashes between Tottenham and Chelsea, and Arsenal and Newcastle
When looking at the EPL soccer odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, which bets make the most sense for this matchweek?
EPL Betting: Matchweek 11
Manchester United at Fulham (8:30 a.m. ET Saturday)
Manchester United Moneyline (+115)
If Manchester United aren't at rock bottom after their 3-0 loss to Newcastle in the league cup on Wednesday, they are extremely close.
They currently sit in eighth on the table, with five wins and five losses. Four of their five losses have come against respectable sides in Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Brighton -- the issue is United were never even remotely in those fixtures, losing the xG battle, per FBRef, by a combined 9.7-4.9.
Truthfully, things could easily be much worse for United. In their five wins, they have lost or tied on xG in three of them, with a combined total of 8.5 xG scored to 6.8 xG allowed. When they lose, they lose badly, and when they win, it is by the narrowest of margins.
For this weekend's clash with Fulham, what's important is that, so far, despite all of their struggles, when facing lesser opponents, United have usually managed to secure all three points. Against sides currently sitting below them on the league table this season, the Red Devils are 5-1, with their lone loss coming against Crystal Palace. In these situations, United's talent level has managed to produce moments of individual brilliance to get them past their opponents despite all of Man United's structural problems.
Fulham sit in 14th with three wins, three draws, and four losses this season. On xG difference per 90, they rank 16th. Their wins have come against teams currently sitting in 15th (Everton), 18th (Luton Town), and 20th (Sheffield United). Outside of their results against lesser opponents, they are winless, with a combined 4 goals scored and 15 goals against.
Fulham ranks 18th in xG (10.4) and 15th in xG allowed (18.2). The Cottager's inability to generate goals is a major plus for United. All of United's games against teams sitting below them on the table have been decided by a one-goal margin.
Two of Fulham's three wins have come at home, but in their two home matches against teams on the top half of the table (Chelsea and Brentford), they lost 2-0 and 3-0. United are 2-2 away from Old Trafford in the league this season, with losses to Arsenal and Tottenham and wins against Sheffield United and Burnley. They won on xG in just one of those fixtures (Tottenham).
Despite all of United's struggles, they have taken care of business in similar scenarios so far this season. It hasn't been easy, but their talent has won out in the end when facing lesser opposition.
There is still a half-goal (0.50) difference between these two sides in their xG difference per 90 this season, and with United at +115, I'll back the more talented side to get a result with their backs against the wall.
Chelsea at Tottenham (3:00 p.m. ET Monday)
Tottenham Moneyline (+105)
Monday's clash between Tottenham and Chelsea is an interesting one.
In terms of results, Tottenham is enjoying one of their best campaigns in recent memory, while Chelsea's struggles from last season have rolled over into this campaign. In terms of expected goals, the two sides are closer than their current standings on the league table indicate.
Under new manager Angelos Postecoglou, Tottenham sit on top of the table -- two points clear of Manchester City and Arsenal -- and are undefeated through 10 matches (eight wins and two draws). Spurs' record and standing would lead you to believe that they have been an elite side in at least one phase of the game, but that has not been the case.
Spurs rank ninth in xG created (17.6), one spot below Chelsea (18.2) and one spot above Everton (15.7). They rank sixth in xG allowed (12.4), two spots below Chelsea (11.3) and one spot above Brentford (12.8). On xG difference per 90, Spurs rank seventh (+0.52), two spots below Chelsea (+0.69).
To achieve the results they have, Tottenham has been overperforming their xG metrics on both ends of the pitch, scoring 22 goals from 17.6 xG and conceding 9 goals from 12.4 xG allowed. Their results have come against a relatively easy schedule -- outside of Arsenal and Liverpool, they have played just one other team (Manchester United) currently inside the top nine spots in the table and have played all four of the teams currently sitting in 17th to 20th.
In their three games against big-six opposition, Spurs have generated 5.3 xG and surrendered 5.2 xG. Make no mistake about it -- Spurs are a top-tier team, but their metrics indicate that they are more of a top-four side and less of a top-of-the-league side -- Manchester City, Newcastle, Arsenal, and Liverpool all have an xG difference per 90 that is nearly double or better than Spurs'.
That brings us to Chelsea, who are on the opposite end of the luck/xG spectrum. They sit in 11th in the table despite xG metrics that indicate that they are closer to being a top-four side than one that resides in the bottom half of the table.
This is due primarily to their inability to convert their chances into goals. The Blues have generated just 13 goals (one of which was an own goal) from 18.2 xG. No team in the league has underperformed their xG total by more than Chelsea has (-6.2), and no team in the league has overperformed their xG allowed metrics more than Spurs (-4.4).
The Blues have shown up for big matches this season, earning draws against Liverpool and Arsenal, but they have struggled massively with consistency -- perfectly illustrated by their 2-0 loss to Brentford in Matchweek 10 following their 2-2 draw with Arsenal in Matchweek 9.
Despite Spurs' weaker-than-expected xG metrics, they are the home side in this one, where they are 4-0 so far this season, and I expect them to take all three points from an underperforming Chelsea side.
Eddie Nketiah to Score (+290): Saturday's clash between Arsenal and Newcastle is a high-stakes showdown between two sides that rank second and third in xG difference so far this season. Newcastle rank third in xG allowed (10.2) but have struggled to defend against better opposition. They have conceded in each of their five matches against teams in the top half of the table and allowed multiple goals in three of those contests. Nketiah is coming off a hat trick against Sheffield United, and the Gunners have found the back of the net at least once in all of their EPL fixtures this season, averaging 2.3 goals per match.
Matheus Cunha to Score (+195): Cunha and Wolves face Sheffield United on Saturday. The Blades have allowed the most xG (23.5) and have held their opponents to fewer than two goals only once this season. Outside of their season opener against Manchester United (in which they generated 2.2 xG but didn't get a goal), Wolves have scored in each of their EPL fixtures this season. They have two goals in three of their last four matches, and Cunha has a goal and seven shots on target across his last two matches.
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