Expert Premier League predictions and free football tips from Mark Langdon
Expected goals can help guide teams to identify problems
Mark Langdon delivers his thoughts on football's talking points and tips for the weekend.
Brighton draw no bet v Tottenham
1pt 5-4 Betfred
Chelsea to beat Burnley & under 3.5 goals
1pt 21-20 Betway, BoyleSports
Fulham manager Scott Parker was well aware of analytics when his team went to Brighton on Wednesday.
"I've watched them when preparing for games but I've not watched loads," admitted Parker before a second 0-0 draw between the teams this season.
"I think they are a lovely footballing side with real structure about the way they play.
"Like anything, there's always the next thing to improve and looking this morning at goal expectancy - you see the fine margins."
Albion are indeed much better on expected points rather than actual points and would comfortably be a top-half Premier League side if only football was played on computer algorithms rather than grass.
Most football fans would agree that Brighton play attractive football and a large majority would concur Albion's issue is the lack of goalscoring threats.
It is an obvious opinion to have but it may not be entirely true.
Fbref.com's xG ratings reckon Brighton should have a goal difference of plus 5.1 - the same as weekend opponents Tottenham - whereas in reality Spurs are plus 14 and Albion minus seven.
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According to the figures Brighton have left five goals on the table as an attacking unit, but defensively the Seagulls have shipped seven more than expected which would probably go against the popular consensus of Albion's issues.
Clearly Brighton need to sharpen up in both boxes and/or stop getting unlucky but it is really interesting to note how Graham Potter's team were able to identify one of the biggest issues was goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
The Aussie was first dropped, to the bewilderment of some neutrals, and then let go to Arsenal. On some underlying statistics he is the worst goalkeeper in the league and things have already started to improve for Albion since Robert Sanchez came in.
Brighton, much like Brentford, place an emphasis on data which allows them to know exactly where they are and make smarter decisions as a consequence.
It doesn't always bring immediate rewards but if you make enough smart decisions that should make long-term benefits and given Harry Kane is ruled out through injury, Albion make plenty of appeal with the draw no bet against Spurs.
People have debated whether Chelsea made the right decision to sack Frank Lampard but it is possible to simultaneously believe he probably deserved more time and yet that the Blues are now in a better place to challenge for major honours.
Thomas Tuchel did not quite get it right in Wednesday's 0-0 bore draw with Wolves but they can beat Burnley in a game featuring under 3.5 goals.
Burnley centre-backs James Tarkowski and Ben Mee have started in seven league away games this season and those games have produced a total of nine goals, five of which came against Manchester City.
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