xG Check

xG Check, 20 Jan: RB Leipzig need clinical Werner

The brilliant German's slick finishing kept his team top in a tough encounter with Union Berlin

10:00am on Tuesday 21st January 2020
Paul Macdonald
BUN Jan 18, 2020 W
  • RB Leipzig xG: 1.3
  • Union Berlin xG: 1.5
  • Werner's slick finishing the difference

RB Leipzig remain the team to beat in the Bundesliga, but they didn't have everything their own way against Union Berlin. After going 1-0 down, in the contest as a whole they were defeated on xG 1.5 to 1.3 by the visitors on a similar selection of shots and shooting positions.

A fundamental difference? Timo Werner. The prolific German struck two fantastic goals, the equaliser a thrilling volley lashed into the roof of the net, and the clinching third showcased neat control and flicked beautifully into the corner.

Werner's two goals carried a combined total of 0.14 xG. That's what a good striker can do.

EPL Jan 18, 2020 D
  • Watford xG: 2.1
  • Tottenham xG: 1.8
  • A hugely unlikely 0-0 result

There were a few 'unfair' results at the weekend, from Man City's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace (2.55 v 0.6) to Chelsea's improbable loss at Newcastle (0.8 v 1.8).

But it remains a real puzzle how Watford's clash with Tottenham ended a draw. Troy Deeney (0.75 xG) and his missed spot kick aside, there were mere than enough opportunities elsewhere for someone to find the net.

Lucas Moura (0.49 xG) blased at Ben Foster's legs from a really good position after being sent clear by Dele Alli, while in the second half Abdoulaye Doucoure (0.42 xG) poked home from close range when he really should have done better. And Eric Lamela (0.15 xG) despite laying on the grass, really should have forced the ball over the line before Ignacio Pussetto produced a miraculous clearance.

EPL Jan 18, 2020 D
  • Watford xG: 2.1
  • Tottenham xG: 1.8
  • A hugely unlikely 0-0 result

The award for most unfortunate team of the round goes to Athletic, however, who contrived to draw 1-1 with Celta Vigo despite being nearly 2.5 expected goals superior in the contest. Most guilty was Iker Muniain (0.6 xG) who somehow headed directly at the goalkeeper from just five yards out.

But the interesting nature of this match is in 'chances' that wouldn't necessarily show up on a highlights package. Inaki Williams and Asier Villalibre both attempted efforts from close range which were blocked by defenders but due to their proximity to goal amounted to almost 1.05 xG in total. Where xG is limited in this case is - how clear where these chances, and do the models sufficiently consider defender positions? Was the block made from six inches away, or three yards? That definition created two very different opportunities.

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.

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