We are in for an absolute cracker of a weekend this time, as we’ve got some massive derbies and fixtures all over the shop. Using data and insights from our analytics platform, xvalue.ai, we have picked out some key details in three such big games this weekend.
🇪🇸 La Liga: Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid
The two Madrid giants will collide in the headline La Liga fixture this weekend, which will see the only side with a preserved perfect record travel to the Cívitas Metropolitano.
Our xPoints model finds that Real Madrid have already amassed five more points than they might have deserved based on their performances in the league, but we all know the reason behind that. Los Blancos have always had the knack of finding a way on tough days, and this season, that always seems to involve Jude Bellingham grabbing a late winner.
Atlético’s defence will have the tough task of somehow stopping him, but they have not been at their very best this season. For a team that is built in such a defence-first fashion, having the sixth-lowest xGA P90 tally in the league is quite disappointing even so early on in the season. On the flip side, they have started to get more comfortable in matches where they get to dominate territory a little more, so we should be in for a very intriguing contest here.
- Field Tilt: 53.53% – 61.49%
- npxG P90: 1.73 – 1.94
- Counters npxG %: 15.0 – 7.1
- npxGA P90: 1.32 – 1.19
Takeaway: An intriguing fixture is in store for us as a typically counterattacking Atlético Madrid who are getting somewhat comfortable with settled possession will come up against a Real Madrid side that seems up to any challenge thrown at them.
🏴 Premier League: Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur
This weekend’s North London derby promises to be one of the most interesting ones in recent memory, as Ange Postecoglu will lead Tottenham Hotspur against their fierce rivals for the first time in his tenure.
In just a few months, the Australian tactician has transformed Spurs. He has taken what was a pretty shaky side in the latter stages of Antonio Conte’s reign and converted them into a very exciting possession-based team – not too dissimilar to what Arsenal have been in recent years.
Of course, the two teams have a fair few tactical differences such as their usage of their full-backs, but on a very broad stylistic level, they seem to be quite alike. Perhaps, then, the deciding factor in this match might lie in one of the small details.
- Field Tilt: 71.76% – 64.27%
- npxG P90: 1.68 – 2.03
- npxGA P90: 0.78 – 1.48
- BDP: 4.60 – 3.01
Takeaway: In a match between two attacking powerhouses, Arsenal’s superior defending and pressing might prove to be decisive.
🇫🇷 Ligue 1: Monaco vs. Nice
The blockbuster Ligue 1 match of the weekend has to be Le Classique, but given the turmoil around Marseille, we will save that for our report and instead look at an exciting top-of-the-table battle coming up earlier.
Early leaders Monaco will face Francesco Farioli’s undefeated Nice on Friday night in what should be the most tactically gripping encounter of the weekend in France. Monaco have been very exciting to watch so far as they have scored 15 goals in their five matches, and much of that attacking output has been generated by their very well-executed 3-2-5 structure in possession.
Nice, on the other hand, have been more concerned with tightening up defensively. Farioli made a name for himself with his side’s mesmerising passing games in Turkey, but he has first looked to address Les Aiglons’ frailties out of possession with some intriguing setups. The Italian coach has been successful in that regard so far, as his side can boast of the best defensive statistics in the league.
- npxG P90: 2.50 – 1.87
- npxG/shot: 0.15 – 0.12
- npxGA P90: 0.68 – 0.65
- npxGA/shot: 0.08 – 0.08
Takeaway: The key to the match might lie in whether Monaco’s attack is able to overpower Nice’s defence.
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About the Author: Neel Shelat
Neel Shelat is a self-styled missionary of the religion of football. With an unwavering passion for the game, he spreads the word about football from all corners of the world through in-depth features, profiles, analyses, and podcasts. Over the span of three years, Neel has established himself as a prominent freelance journalist and analyst. His insightful contributions have graced platforms like Al Jazeera, Forbes Sports, among many others. If you wish to stay updated with his latest insights and thoughts, you can follow him on Twitter at @ShelatNeel.
This series of articles is a collaborative effort between Neel Shelat, Soccerment Research, and the xvalue Team.