Monaco vs Brest
Monaco returned to Ligue 1 action with a 3-2 away victory against Auxerre on Wednesday, and should be able to secure 2 wins on the bounce when taking on a Brest side who were dispatched 4-2 at home against Lyon earlier this week.
Only French Giants PSG have scored more goals in the league than Monaco this season. They’ve notched a total of 32, for an average of 2.00 per game.
Monaco have scored 2 on 11 occasions in Ligue 1, and their form is strong, with a minimum of 2 goals in 8 of their last 9, having won 6 of these.
As for xG, 1.64 P/90 is certainly respectable and the Monegasque side should create plenty here.
Brest, as mentioned earlier, come into this one off the back of a hammering at home, conceding 4 to Lyon. They sit just 2 points clear of the drop zone, with only 3 wins to their name all season. Recent form isn’t much better, with just 2 wins in 13.
Goals have also been relatively difficult to come by for Brest. 18 in 16 gives them an average of 1.13 per game, a disappointing return given how leaky they are at the back. 2.00 goals conceded a game could make for grim reading here.
Monaco should have a full squad for this one. Both Fofana and Disasi have returned after being away with France for the World Cup, whilst star-man Breel Embolo should start up top.
Chesterfield vs Scunthorpe United
3rd placed Chesterfield laboured to a 2-1 victory in their National League encounter away to Scunthorpe on Boxing Day. At home however, Chesterfield should have far too much for the very same opponent on January 1st.
Chesterfield come into this Boxing Day rematch in fine form, they’ve won 7 of their last 9, and scored a minimum of 2 goals in all but a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 loss in that same period.
In fact, only the top two in Notts County and Wrexham are able to boast more goals than Chesterfield, who themselves have notched 43 so far this campaign for an average of 2.05 per game.
As for chance creation, an xG of 1.74 P/90 suggests that Chesterfield should have plenty of opportunities against Scunthorpe, whilst an xGA of 1.30 P/90 highlights the difficulty that Scunthorpe will face in breaking the home side down.
As for the away side, Scunthorpe are languishing at the bottom of the league, 3 points adrift of 23rd placed Torquay.
They’ve scored 28 in 24, but have conceded a whopping 29, more than 2 per game. They’ve failed to score more than 1 in each of their last 9 fixtures (failing to win a single one of these games) and such toothless forward play could lead to another defeat against Chesterfield.
An xG of just 1.17 P/90 is unlikely to trouble Chesterfield, whereas an xGA P/90 of 1.74, the third highest in the league, should give the hosts a boost.
Oldham Athletic vs Notts County
Notts County have been the pick of the bunch in the National League this season, and after dispatching today’s opponents, Oldham, 4-1 on Boxing Day, I would expect them to do the same today.
The stats certainly suggest that County are worthy of their spot as league leaders. They’re unbeaten in 15, and have only lost once this campaign.
63 goals for an average of 2.63 per game sees them as the league’s top scorers, and perhaps even more frightening a stat for Oldham, the away side have scored at least 2 in 18 games this season. With a staggering xG of 2.19 P/90, County have exhibited a consistent ability to create quality chances.
Just as significant is their defensive stability, and Notts County have only conceded 22 goals in their 24 games. An xGA of just 1.03 P/90 certainly won’t fill Oldham with hope.
Oldham, in stark contrast, are seemingly a side in freefall. They sit third from bottom, having only one once in their last 8 games.
Goals have been incredibly difficult to come by for Oldham. They’re averaging just 1.00 per game, and given Notts County’s goalscoring output, that won’t be enough here. An xG of 1.24 P/90 is below average at best, and they’ll struggle for opportunities here.
Defensively, they haven’t been as bad as some of the other relegation threatened sides, but with 1.68 goals conceded P/90, they’ll likely struggle to keep a quality County side out.