Hack the weekend: Tottenham and Marseille travel to take on arch rivals

Hack the weekend: Tottenham and Marseille travel to take on arch rivals
A snapshot from the January game, which Arsenal dominated 2-0
A snapshot from the January game, which Arsenal dominated 2-0
Profimedia, Flashscore
Who will win? A key question that is addressed daily by sports fans and pundits around the world. Most of the time, however, they are guided more by feelings and their own impressions than by unquestionable numbers. The right answer to this question can often be very valuable. Especially if it is the hesitation of a favourite. That is why every Friday, the editorial team of Flashscore News, in cooperation with the team of analysts from the Czech data company 11Hacks, brings you analyses of matches in which the numbers suggest that the (un)expected result may occur.

Arsenal - Tottenham, Sunday 15:00 CET

A few days ago, current Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said at a meeting with fans and journalists: "I'll put it simply: We have our Tottenham back." And it's quite possible that there was no one in the room at the time to contradict his opinion. The team, under new coach Ange Postecoglou (58), has been entertaining the Premier League with attacking football that has earned them a 13-point haul in the opening five rounds and an interim second place in the table.

Although in such a small sample of games the quality of the draw or the luck or bad luck factor still comes into play in a major way, in terms of numbers Tottenham are doing very well so far.

In league comparison, it has the highest number of shots, the highest volume of passes directed into the area no more than 20 yards from the opponent's goal and the second highest pressing intensity. Its activity in the final third is enormous and has given problems to each of the opponents so far.

In the sixth round, however, the Spurs will face their biggest challenge yet. Both in terms of the quality of the opponent and the expectations that are associated with the upcoming game. In the next edition of the North London derby, Arsenal are the bookmakers' clear favourites, but their stumble would not be that surprising.

Although Mikel Arteta's side boasts the best defence in terms of the quality of chances allowed, it should be said that the bulk of its schedule consisted of games against Nottingham, Crystal Palace, Fulham and Everton.

Which are the teams whose offense is definitely not one of the most renowned. In addition, the Gunners will still be missing injured shield midfielder Thomas Partey (30) and the weekend's game will therefore provide a much more complete picture of the true state of their defensive unit.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are creating an average of almost two expected goals per game, which is the fourth best result behind Manchester City, Brighton and an otherwise struggling Chelsea.

Arteta's team, for the same reason, will probably try to play as pragmatically as possible, keeping the ball and tailoring tactics to not give Tottenham too much space for quick counter-attacks. However, if the visitors score first, danger will be there. And given the enthusiasm that now prevails in the Spurs camp, this is certainly not an unrealistic scenario.

PSG - Marseille, Sunday 20:45 CET

Even though Paris Saint-Germain are expected to utterly dominate the domestic competition every year, five rounds into the current Ligue 1 season, Luis Enrique's team is just getting going. Although fifth place with a three-point gap to leader Monaco is not a cause for panic, the club certainly does not look relaxed.

It started the season with draws against Lorient and Toulouse, scoring only a single goal in the absence of Kylian Mbappe (24). One of the best players in the world subsequently confirmed his extravagance with four goals in victorious duels with Lens and Lyon, but in the last round PSG lost all points in a 3-2 home loss to Nice.

PSG - Nice xG in last week's game

And the result was certainly no fluke, with the Cote d'Azur opponent creating the more dangerous scoring opportunities. The Parisians are currently suffering from some inconsistency related to the high number of summer arrivals and departures. Stars like Messi, Neymar, Sergio Ramos and Verratti have left the team, and while quality replacements have come in, once injuries are added to the high turnover of players, problems are brewing.

In the duel against Nice, a total of seven new players intervened in the match, to which must also be added a constant stopper duo. Newcomer Milan Skriniar (28) will start once alongside Marquinhos (28), while Danilo Pereira (32) will keep him company for the second time...

A decent Marseille side, which has so far kept similar numbers to PSG in important attacking and defensive metrics, could therefore at least trouble the disorganised opponent.

Zbrojovka Brno - Vyskov, Saturday 17:00 CET

A big football feast is also on the cards in the second Czech league, where table leaders Vyskov and second-placed Brno will clash for the top spot. Although the visitors enter the match as an underdog, the data shows that they can easily deprive their opponent of all the points. They will face each other (together with Vlasim) the best league's attacks, which together generates 1.6 expected goals per game.

While Brno's attack is basically a one-man show of veteran Jakub Reznicek (35), this year's discovery Idjessi Metsoko (21) shines among Vyskov's African contingent.

Both have already managed to score seven times. If Brno decide to play open football, they will be vulnerable on the counter-attack. Only Dukla Prague have created more dangerous chances than Vyskov from quick counter attacks, while Brno often face shots from these situations.

Only Sparta Prague B and Sigma Olomouc B, along with Vlasim, are more vulnerable to the counter-attacks.

FNL's leading teams for xGA
11Hacks / Flashscore

Brno has dominated in the air so far and has the highest percentage of success in both defensive headers and attacking ones. Vyskov, however, has defended headers in the final third very well in previous games, which is positive news for its fans ahead of this round.

Defensively, Vyskov has the slight edge. They are currently second best in the metric of expected goals allowed. Only Opava are better at preventing shots from dangerous areas. Brno is eighth in this discipline and should have scored about two goals more than Vyskov.


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