Hack the weekend: Mallorca can take points from Betis, Montpellier face an unpopular style

Hack the weekend: Mallorca can take points from Betis, Montpellier face an unpopular style
Betis face Mallorca in La Liga this weekend
Betis face Mallorca in La Liga this weekend
Who will win? The key question that sports fans and pundits address daily after around the world. Most of the time, however, they are guided by feelings and their own impressions rather than unquestionable numbers. The right answer to this question can often be very valuable. Especially if it's the favourite's hesitation. Flashscore News Editorial Team will therefore bring you every Friday, in cooperation with a team of analysts from the Czech data 11Hacks, the analysis of the games that the numbers show could be (un)expected outcome.

Montpellier vs Clermont Foot

In the 28th round of the French Ligue 1, Montpellier will welcome Clermont Foot - the battle between the 13th and 12th teams in the league table. Montpellier are only one point behind their rivals and, according to the bookmakers, the big favourites.

This is probably partly because of the last five matches played by Michel Der Zakarian's side. Der Zakarian was hired by the club's management at the beginning of February, and has not lost a single game. Their only dropped points came in a draw with a strong Lens side. Clermont Foot, on the other hand, have won only once. 

However, while Montpellier enjoyed a very easy run, Clermont were up against Lille, Monaco, Marseille, Rennes and, most recently, Lens - teams from 2nd to 6th place in the table.

Moreover, data analysis suggests that two very evenly matched teams will clash. This is particularly true of their defensive performance. The mathematical models even show that the quality of the chances allowed are even.

Clermont should have conceded 38 goals. But in reality, they were only taking the ball out of the net 30 times. 

One reason for this is the performance of Mory Diaw, who is in the elite group of the best goalkeepers this current season. If the average Ligue 1 goalkeeper faced identical shots, they would have conceded six more goals.

In the table of expected points, a metric combining the number of points allowed and chances taken, Montpellier has a two-point lead over their opponents on Sunday, which is due to their slightly better offensive performance. Moreover, in reality, Clermont suffers from the fact that its players miss good chances.

But they have several weapons that they could use to their advantage. One of them is set pieces. Clermont creates a high volume of chances from corners and direct free kicks and only five other teams are better in terms of total xG. In addition, Montpellier don't exactly excel at this - they're 4th in terms of xG allowed from these situations. They also have a below-average defensive header success rate.

Set piece xG

Furthermore, Montpellier shouldn't be comfortable with the way Clermont creates chances. Analysis of passes shows they create their most dangerous shots from crosses from the flanks. They are also good with short passes after breaking into the penalty box. Those are two types of passes from which Montpellier concede the most dangerous scoring opportunities.

Real Betis vs Mallorca

10th-placed Mallorca took points off fourth-placed Real Sociedad in the last round of La Liga and will try to do the same against fifth-placed Betis this coming weekend. The team, coached by Javier Aguirre, relies heavily on a solid defence.

In terms of quality and number of shooting opportunities allowed, it is even the 4th best defence behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bilbao. 


While Betis will be looking for gaps against a deep block, the match will hurt them.


No other La Liga team has committed such a high number of fouls in a match as Mallorca. Thanks to its unpleasant style of play, they have already managed to beat both Madrid clubs and even twice Villareal.

According to the metric of expected points not accounting for penalties, Mallorca should be eighth place in the league table with a two-point lead over Betis.

The data shows that the team defends the spaces inside its own penalty area very well. Compared to the league average, they are significantly better at stopping passes and runs into these spaces. 

Betis will therefore find it more difficult to get into the spaces for a return pass and to a lesser extent, they will also be less successful at the penetrating pass, which are the two types of situations they have found utilised this season.

They are also very dangerous from counterattacks, but even against those, Mallorca defend well. Only one other team has a lower xG from counter-attacks, namely 
Real Madrid...

The game could be decided by a set piece. Betis are the third worst defensive unit from these situations in La Liga and Mallorca's top scorer, Vedat Muriqi, is coming back after a ban, and he is among the top recipients of crosses from dead ball situations, along with the centre backs Raíllo and Copet.

Puskás vs Ujpest

Ujpest are the team to beat in the current edition of the Hungarian OTP Bank League regarding the biggest portion of bad luck. According to the expected points model, they should have 10 points more, which would have meant a move to second place in the league table behind arch-rivals Ferencváros. 

But in reality, they are in ninth place with a three-point lead on the first of the two relegation positions. At the same time, they are only seven points away from qualifying for Europe.

Újpest has virtually the same quality defence as Ferencváros in terms of xG allowed (and slightly better than Puskás), but despite 22 expected goals conceded, they have been on receiving end are 34 actual goals. Goalkeeper Dorde Nikolic has admittedly let in a few more goals than expected, but he has also often fished the ball out of the net after situations he couldn't do too much about.

Fourth placed Puskás should have won two points less than their opponents. They're currently a point away from places qualifying them for European competition. As far as xG, both teams are at similars levels, and the same can be said about goals scored

Újpesti's strengths lie in set pieces, from which only Paksi and Zalaegerszegi have performed better. Puskás have the second-highest allowed xG and the second-highest number of goals conceded from these situations. They also have a low header success rate in all areas of the pitch.

They meet the team that creates the highest average number of counterattacks per game, but for Újpest, they defend that better than anyone in the whole league. At the same time, their territorial weaknesses play into the hands of their opponents.

Puskás are conceding a lot of chances from the left side of the box (from a defensive point of view) and Újpest on the other hand, create the best attacks through their right side. Due to a weakness in the air for Puskás, Újpest will aim to cross from deep, which are one of Újpest's most effective passes.