Premier League 19 February – 22 February 2021
Leeds v Wolves
I’m posting today rather than yesterday because, I covered Friday’s game of Leeds v Wolves here , earlier in the week, as we included the game in the table with the 2 midweek games.
Liverpool v Everton
For the rest of the weekend’s games though, in terms of history, this game is clearly the biggest game of the weekend.
In terms of the league, it really seems highly unlikely now, if not impossible, that Liverpool could win it again.
These two teams have played each other 288 times.
The last time Everton won was in 2010, which, apart from very recent form, also helps explain why our model makes Liverpool heavy favourites.
This time, the two teams are 6th and 7th in the league with only 3 points between them and Everton having a game in hand.
This is hardly where people would have said Liverpool would be if you’d asked most commentators at the start of this season. That said, our model somewhat treats Liverpool as if they are still doing really well in the league and has them on over 2.6 expected goals. It also has Liverpool at over 75% to win, with bookmakers agreeing but at 10% less.
Our model gives Liverpool a 77% chance to win – the only team this week with a similar chance is Man Utd. Liverpool are on more than 2.6 expected goals for this match, compared to Everton’s 0.74.
Most likely score from our model: 2-0 (apparently Calvert-Lewin is fit to start, given Liverpool’s defence recently, I think Everton will score but Liverpool will still win).
Arsenal v Man City
This will probably be seen as the other ‘big game’ this weekend mainly because it’s Arteta v Guardiola.
Man City are looking unstoppable. Arsenal’s main hope is that they look much better than they did in the first half of the season. They won their last game but did suffer a bit of a dip of 2 defeats before that. Our model predicts a draw as the most likely score but at the same also still heavily favours Man City at over 53% to win. The main reason for the 1-1 prediction though is likely to be Arsenal just edging over into 1 on expected goals and Man City not getting to 2. (the model predicts a 1-1 at 11.3% and and 0-1 away win at 10.8%).
Most likely score from our model – 1-1
West Ham v Tottenham
This game is currently 5th v 9th and just shows how far Tottenham have fallen since they were top of the league earlier in the season.
West Ham have lost only once in the last 5 games, whereas Tottenham have only won once. Historically Tottenham have won 98 times to West Ham’s 64. I think this game feels close. Kane is back for Tottenham but West Ham are a much better team than they have been for a few years.
Our model gives West Ham the edge with 1.52 on expected goals to Tottenham’s 1.16. West Ham also have a 45% chance in our model compared to 37% with bookmakers.
Our model predicts: 1-1