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Expected Goals stats – Very surprising after Nottingham Forest 2 Newcastle 3

3 weeks 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 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 Premier League matches from Saturday, with the Premier League Expected Goals stats (and actual final scoreline in brackets) by Understat:

Man City 1.59 v Everton 0.19 (2-0)

Fulham 1.75 v Bournemouth 2.61 (3-1)

Liverpool 3.15 v Burnley 1.11 (3-1)

Luton 1.76 v Sheff Utd 1.98 (1-3)

Tottenham 2.11 v Brighton 1.49 (2-1)

Wolves 1.06 v Brentford 1.85 (0-2)

Forest 0.97 v Newcastle United 0.51 (2-3)

As you can see, an interesting set of results on Saturday, including when the focus is put on the expected goals stats.

Five of the games seeing the team with the higher Expected Goals stat, also winning the match.

Fulham (1.75) and Bournemouth (2.61) though going against the tide, with the visitors creating more / better chances but losing 3-1.

That leaves Forest v Newcastle.

This stands out for two reasons to me, the fact that Newcastle (0.51) beat Forest (0.97) despite a lower Expected Goals stat than the home side. Even more notable though, is that five goals were scored despite a combined Expected Goals stat of 1.48.

The first Forest goal was maybe the clearest chance of the five but even then Elanga was outside the box and had Dubravka and two defenders very close to him, the Newcastle keeper making the decision up for the home player and it went through Dubravka’s legs.

Whilst the second Forest goal was a total fluke, again a shot outside the box but taking a wicked deflection.

I’m more interested in Newcastle’s goals and I was intrigued to hear Eddie Howe saying how well he thought NUFC had controlled the first half but without ‘peppering’ the goal.

I think the Expected Goals stats back up what we all saw, in terms of Saturday seeing three excellent finishes from not the easiest of chances. Two superb Bruno strikes and Schar so composed with a quality cool strike when he was surrounded by Forest players.

I think there has been a change since we got into 2024 and Newcastle’s finishing has been much more clinical. Goals like Isak at Anfield, the two against Man City, Barnes, Longstaff and Trippier against Luton, Schar at Villa.

It is now 19 goals scored from seven games (all competitions) in 2024, whereas in the last seven matches of 2023, Newcastle only scored seven goals in seven matches and three of the seven came against Fulham at home after they went down to 10 men. I remember in the matches against the likes of Everton, Luton and Forest in December, Newcastle failing to score a lot of very decent chances. You can talk about defending and conceding goals but if you regularly fail to take opportunities at the other end, you are always going to struggle.

Stats via BBC Sport:

Nottingham Forest 2 Newcastle 3 – Saturday 10 February 2024 5.30pm:


Newcastle United:

Bruno 10, 66 Schar 43


Elanga 26, Hudson-Odoi 45+6

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Forest 38% (31%) Newcastle 62% (69%)

Total shots were Forest 13 (4) Newcastle 7 (5)

Shots on target were Forest 3 (3) Newcastle 5 (4)

Corners were Forest 4 (1) Newcastle 4 (3)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance : 29,2451 (3,000 Newcastle)

Newcastle team v Nottingham Forest:

Dubravka, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Miley (Livramento 81), Almiron (Barnes 60), Gordon (Krafth 90+2), Wilson

Unused subs:

Karius, Dummett, Lascelles, Ritchie, Hall, Murphy

(I didn’t tell any lies pre-game – Eddie Howe explains – Read HERE)

(BBC Sport comments from ‘neutrals’ – Very interesting on Newcastle United after win v Nottingham Forest – Read HERE)

(Nottingham Forest 2 Newcastle 3 – Match ratings and comments on all Newcastle United players – Read HERE)

(This photo that all Newcastle United fans will absolutely love from tonight… See HERE)

(Bruno Guimaraes – “I dedicate this goal to the Mad Dog” Read HERE)

(Nottingham Forest 2 Newcastle 3 – Instant Newcastle United fan / writer reaction – Read HERE)

Newcastle United confirmed matches to end of March 2024:

Saturday 17 February 2024 – Newcastle v Bournemouth (3pm)

Saturday 24 February 2024 – Arsenal v Newcastle (8pm) TNT Sports

Tuesday 27 February 2024 – Blackburn v Newcastle (7.45pm) BBC1

Saturday 2 March 2024 – Newcastle v Wolves (3pm)

Monday 11 March 2024 – Chelsea v Newcastle (8pm) Sky Sports

Saturday 16 March 2024 – Crystal Palace v Newcastle (3pm) ***If Newcastle beat Blackburn, NUFC will be playing in FA Cup sixth round this weekend instead.

Saturday 30 March 2024 – Newcastle v West Ham (12.30pm) TNT Sports


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