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Expected Goals stats – One match stands out from the weekend…

12 months ago

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 (actual final scoreline in brackets) by Understat:

Newcastle United 0.21 v 2.44 Manchester City (2-2)

Burnley 1.85 v 0.94 Crystal Palace (0-2)

Chelsea 2.73 v 1.12 West Ham (0-1)

Liverpool 1.37 v 0.87 Brighton (2-1)

Tottenham 2.93 v 1.03 Bournemouth (3-2)

Southampton 1.97 v 0.50 Watford (2-1)

Wolves 1.27 v 1.47 Sheffield United (1-1)

Norwich 0.81 v 1.96 Arsenal(2-2)

Leicester 2.24 v 1.25 Everton (2-1)

Manchester United 1.85 v 1.30 Aston Villa (2-2)

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 Burnley (1.85) and Palace (0.94), Burnley by far the better team but the visitors taking their chances and coming away with what appears at first glance a comfortable 2-0 win.

Watford (0.50) may have taken the lead but the expected goals stats suggest Southampton (1.97) very much deserved their eventual 2-1 victory.

The same with Leicester (2.24) and Everton (1.25), the Foxes leaving it late but very much deserving their last gasp win.

Liverpool (1.37) may have went 2-0 up but the expected goals stats suggest they are not that much on top in a lot of games as Brighton (0.87) came back into the match and the scousers did just about  enough

The real stand out of course is Newcastle United (0.21) v Manchester City (2.44), the visitors with an expected goals over 10 times higher than Newcastle’s. These stats reflecting that whilst Man City didn’t finish some real sitters in front of goal, Newcastle scored with their only two serious chances and one of those was that excellent Shelvey strike from a position (25 yards out) where he wouldn’t be expected to score.

Newcastle played well in terms of some defiant defending and did have the odd moment on the break but the stats really reflect that against Man City, even when they don’t play as well as they can, you still need to carry the luck against them.


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