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Expected Goals stats show what Newcastle deserved v Bournemouth and where should be in PL table

4 weeks ago
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Expected Goals is widely agreed to be the best way of measuring how well Premier League clubs play in any particular game.

To get a better look at how sides are doing, the Expected Goals (xG) metric allows you to get a better picture of just how teams are performing.

Expected goals (xG) is a statistic used to work out how many goals should be scored in a match.#

With every single shot awarded an xG value based on the difficulty of the attempt, with factors including distance from goal, type of shot and number of defenders present affecting the value.

The higher the xG of a particular shot, the more likely a goal should be scored from that shot.

The xG value of every shot in a game is then used to calculate the expected goals in a particular match.

So these are this past weekend’s Premier League Expected Goals stats calculated during games by Understat:

Norwich 0.62 v 1.36 Watford (0-2)

Chelsea 3.29 v 0.48 Crystal Palace (2-0)

Burnley 2.42 v 0.47 West Ham (3-0)

Newcastle United 2.33 v 1.92 Bournemouth (2-1)

Southampton 0.74 v 2.09 Everton (1-2)

Tottenham 1.51 v 0.92 Sheffield United (1-1)

Leicester 1.37 v 0.96 Arsenal (2-0)

Wolves 2.10 v 0.47 Aston Villa (2-1)

Manchester United 3.65 v 1.13 Brighton (3-1)

Liverpool 1.33 v 1.48 Manchester City (3-1)

As you can see, in most cases the Expected Goals stats were very similar to the actual scoreline. In other words, on balance of play and chances created/shots at goal, teams got what they deserved.

One of the exceptions is Liverpool (1.33) and Man City (1.48). I watched the game on Sunday and as the expected goals stats suggest, Man City were pretty unlucky. The scousers took their chances well but as the BBC Sport stats show, Man City had more possession (55% v 45%), more corners (13 v 4) and more shots (18 v 12).

The first 10 Premier League games of the season saw Newcastle with a lower expected goals than the opposition but now it is two weeks in a row where NUFC are higher, as last week it was: West Ham 1.54 v 1.93 Newcastle United (2-3)

Also interesting to see where everybody, including Newcastle United, should be in the Premier League table this season, according to Expected Goals.

How the Premier League table should now look according to Expected Goals – Table prepared via stats by Understat:

1. Manchester City – Real position = 4

Real points = 25 | Expected points = 28.28

2. Liverpool – Real position = 1

Real points = 34 | Expected points = 23.92

3. Chelsea – Real position = 3

Real points = 26 | Expected points = 23.28

4. Manchester United – Real position = 7

Real points = 16 | Expected points = 23.22

5. Everton – Real position = 15

Real points = 14 | Expected points = 20.18

6. Leicester City – Real position = 2

Real points = 26 | Expected points = 17.82

7. Wolverhampton Wanderers – Real position = 8

Real points = 16 | Expected points = 17.76

8. Burnley – Real position = 10

Real points = 15 | Expected points = 17.73

9. Brighton – Real position = 11

Real points = 15 | Expected points = 16.49

10. Watford – Real position = 18

Real points = 8 | Expected points = 16.13

11. Tottenham Hotspur – Real position = 14

Real points = 14 | Expected points = 15.28

12. Arsenal – Real position = 6

Real points = 17 | Expected points = 15.27

13. Sheffield United – Real position = 5

Real points = 17 | Expected points = 14.78

14. Bournemouth – Real position = 9

Real points = 16 | Expected points = 14.76

15. Southampton – Real position = 19

Real points = 8 | Expected points = 13.69

16. Aston Villa – Real position = 17

Real points = 11 | Expected points = 12.69

17. Crystal Palace – Real position = 12

Real points = 15 | Expected points = 12.44

18. West Ham United – Real position = 16

Real points = 13 | Expected points = 11.48

19. Newcastle United – Real position = 13

Real points = 15 | Expected points = 9.54

20. Norwich – Real position = 20

Real points = 7 | Expected points = 8.35

Of course the REAL points and REAL Premier League table are what is all important but what expected goals is about is the underlying form, especially of course when it comes to creating good chances. Newcastle have won these past two matches and they deserved to.

Over the course of the first 10 PL games, Newcastle created an embarrassingly low number of chances and were very lucky to have nine points, hence why still only second bottom of the table above based on expected goals over the course of the season so far. Great though to see we are finally on the up, both in terms of creating chances and scoring goals.

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