xG Check

xG Check, 14 Jan: Inter and Juventus somehow escape defeat

Serie A's front two could, and probably should, have both lost their matches

9:00am on Tuesday 14th January 2020
Paul Macdonald

What is xG check?

Each week FC will aggregate the Expected Goals (xG) ratings from three respected sources and provide an average for both the home and away team. From there we will assess which matches have ended in a different manner than the xG would suggest.

EXPECTED GOALS (xG) assesses the quality of a shot based on several variables such as assist type, shot angle and distance from goal, whether it was a headed shot and whether it was defined as a big chance. From there that shot is assigned an xG score and the cumulative total of these scores provides a team's xG for a match. Stats Definition

But sometimes, xG doesn't tell the whole picture, so we also analyse the highlights of these games to look at the chances created by teams in a little more detail.

ISA Jan 11, 2020 D
  • Inter xG: 0.75
  • Atalanta xG: 2.5
  • Muriel penalty miss denies the visitors

Now this was a strange game and perhaps an example of the xG confounding but also confirming the result. Atalanta created by far the better chances in this one - Lautaro Martinez's (0.36 xG) opportunist finish got Inter on their way but from there this excellent Atalanta side took control.

Robin Gosens (0.10 xG) squeezed one home to equalise and Luis Muriel's (0.75 xG) late penalty miss, superbly saved by Samir Handanovic, denied his team victory. But much of the remaining xG is tied up in one strange incident where xG's limitations are stretched. Rafael Todoi's (0.4 xG) initial header is blocked by Handanovic, but as the ball breaks back to Todoi he pokes his effort wide. This additional chance carried a huge 0.75 xG, but in reality, Todoi is well off balance and is force to lunge to make any kind of connection. It's far from a clear chance and nearly 1/3 of Atalanta's total xG is taken up by this incident. But, with Muriel's penalty miss, Atalanta will still think the win should have been theirs, particularly with Inter creating precious little else of note.

ISA Jan 12, 2020 L
  • Roma xG: 2.6
  • Juventus xG: 1.3
  • Roma left to rue defensive errors

Juventus flew out of the blocks in this one with Merih Demiral (0.1 xG) netting with his shin after just two mins, then a poor defensive error from Roma allowed Paulo Dybala to win a penalty which Cristiano Ronaldo (0.75 xG) converted. But from then on Roma were by far the team on the front foot.

Lorenzo Pellegrini missed 0.8 xG of opportunities in front of the goal, one of which was blocked on the line, while Edin Dzeko and Cengiz Under also went close either side of Diego Perotti's (0.75 xG) penalty. But, really, none of these opportunities were particularly guilt-edged, and this xG result is a case of an accumulation of a significant number of low-yield chances rather than being particularly unlucky in the scoreline.

EPL Jan 11, 2020 D
  • Wolves xG: 2.1
  • Newcastle xG: 0.17
  • Wolves missing easy chances

Newcastle are obliterated by injury at the moment, with up to 13 first-team players sitting out, and once Miguel Almiron (0.10 xG) brilliantly put them ahead, it was a case of seeing how long they could last. Thanks to Leander Dendoncker (0.5 xG) the lead barely lasted five minutes, but after that, it was backs very much against the wall.

Matt Doherty, Raul Jimenez and Pedro Neto all missed from either just inside the six yard box or just outside, for a combined total of 1.4 xG for the chances they didn't convert.

View Inter's squad, ratings, fixtures and preferred starting XI

View Juventus' squad, ratings, fixtures and preferred starting XI

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