Chelsea set for Turf Moor battle: Premier League Thursday Preview

Burnley host Chelsea, while Southampton travel to Leicester on Thursday night in the Premier League. Infogol’s Analyst uses expected goals (xG) data to generate the best bets.

Burnley v Chelsea expected goals

Despite winning their last five matches - including four games by a 2-1 scoreline - the league table flatters Sean Dyche's side somewhat, with Burnley higher in the standings than performances warrant.

They were fortunate to beat Leicester last time (xG: BUR 1.18 – 2.08 LEI) and have actually only created more than 2 xG once this season. This isn’t to knock their achievements – they’re currently sat in seventh place – but it helps illustrate their compact and ordered style of play.

Chelsea won last time - 3 - 2 against Southampton - but they failed to create as many clear-cut chances as they would have liked (xG: SOU 1.35 – 1.02 CHE) and were lucky to take all three points despite their stirring comeback from 2-0 down.

Chelsea v Southampton shot map

Conclusion

With Burnley struggling to create high quality chances against the better sides, and Chelsea still not firing on all cylinders going forward, under 2.5 goals is put forward as the selection at odds of 3/4. Indeed, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a low-scoring Burnley win.

Recommended bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 3/4

 

Leicester City v Southampton expected goals

Leicester may have lost their last two games, both by 2-1 scorelines, but they have been unlucky on each occasion, creating better chances than Newcastle (xG: LEI 1.05 – 0.41 NEW) and Burnley (xG: BUR 1.18 – 2.08 LEI).

Though another goal from Jamie Vardy wasn't enough to claim a share of the spoils against Burnley, it took his scoring streak to four games. He looks the most likely candidate to break the deadlock against Southampton, with 17 to his name this season; only Mo Salah, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero have scored more.

2017/18 Premier League top scorers

Southampton have actually been somewhat unfortunate with results over the course of the campaign (Actual position 18th; Expected position 9th), but are again seeking to bounce back from a defeat, this time a harsh 3 - 2 loss against Chelsea (xG: SOU 1.35 – 1.02 CHE).

The reality, though, is that Southampton just couldn’t afford to let that 2-0 lead slip away, and they now find themselves five points from safety with the same number of games to play.

Conclusion

The Saints’ players and fans will be well aware that a win is a must, but the increased emphasis on attacking may leave them vulnerable to a Leicester side who have performed better at home than results would suggest. A home win at 7/5 is the recommended bet.

Recommended bet: Leicester to win @ 7/5

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