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What Premier League Expected Goals stats tell us after Newcastle 0 Norwich 0

5 months 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 rather than just the usual basic statistics of how many shots each team has, Expected Goals factors in where shots were taken from and how good a chance was and whether defenders in the way etc.

These are the weekend’s Premier League Expected Goals stats (actual final scoreline in brackets) by Understat:

Saturday 1 February 2020

Leicester 1.56 v 0.79 Chelsea (2-2)

Bournemouth 2.73 v 1.42 Aston Villa (2-1)

Crystal Palace 0.96 v 0.86 Sheffield United (0-1)

Liverpool 3.66 v 0.72 Southampton (4-0)

Newcastle United 0.93 v 2.40 Norwich (0-0)

Watford 0.88 v 2.70 Everton (2-3)

West Ham 1.31 v 1.95 Brighton (3-3)

Man Utd 0.84 v 1.14 Wolves (0-0)

Sunday 2 February 2020

Burnley 2.25 v 1.89 Arsenal (0-0)

Tottenham 0.42 v 3.23 Man City (2-0)

As you can see, in almost every case the results tend to match up with the Expected Goals stats.

The team that works the best chances most often in a match, gives itself the best chance of winning.

So Bournemouth, Liverpool and Everton were very much deserving of their wins on balance of play/chances.

Sheffield United sneaked it in a well balanced game (based on the expected goals stats), whilst the draws at Burnley and Man Utd pretty much went with the stats.

Leicester and Brighton were clearly the more dominant teams in their games but not overwhelmingly so, meaning draws in the two games weren’t that unfair.

The two games though where the expected goals stats didn’t at all match the final outcomes, were those at St James Park and Tottenham.

Man City had an expected goals stat of 3.23 compared to 0.42 for Spurs, yet Spurs won. Checking on the BBC match stats, sure enough Man City absolutely dominated and had 19 shots compared to 3 for the home side, yet Tottenham won 2-0, two of their three shots on target producing goals.

As for St James Park, bottom of the table Norwich (2.40 expected goals) were so unlucky, controlling the game and most of the chances against Newcastle who had an 0.93 expected goals stat. Incredible luck yet again for Steve Bruce.

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