xG Check

xG Check, 28 Jan: Strasbourg xG dubious, Atalanta are the attack masters

Some strange scoring as Monaco lose, while Marseille and Angers put up an anti-classic

10:00am on Tuesday 28th January 2020
Paul Macdonald
FL1 Jan 25, 2020 L
  • Monaco xG: 1.2
  • Strasbourg xG: 0.7
  • xG numbers don't match reality of contest

This is the type of match that makes Expected Goals hater scoff at the apparent results. Monaco were far from unlucky in this match and they deserved to lose. Kamil Glik (0.61 xG) and his shot off the post was nowhere near as clear a chance as the xG would have you believe, similarly to Benjamin Henrich's (0.3 xG) shot early on. These two grossly overrated incidents skew the score.

In reality, Strasbourg's opening goal of 0.12 xG from Ludovic Ajorque was tapped home from six yards out - it's difficult to work out the current models have graded a relatively straightforward chance so lowly. xG is still developing as a concept and certainly isn't right every time at the moment - this game is a very good example of that.

FL1 Jan 25, 2020 D
  • Marseille xG: 0.35
  • Angers xG: 0.15
  • A shocker of a contest

There may not be many worse matches in any of the top five leagues this season than this horror show. FC (via French Football Expert Robin Bairner) had already highlighted that with OM's suspensions they would struggle in attack this weekend , but boy, this was a struggle.

Just two shots on target in the entire contest and virtually none of them were from any kind of optimum position. Anger hit a single shot from inside the area. These teams could have played for quite some time on this form and would never have found the net.

ISA Jan 25, 2020 W
  • Torino xG: 0.5
  • Atalanta xG: 5.4
  • One of the attacking displays of the season

Usually when teams hand out a paddling, like Atalanta administered to Torino on Saturday, their Expected Goals is, generally, a little way off from their overall number. Not only is Atalanta's 5.4 xG insanely high, but one of the goals they did score, from Josip Ilicic, was driven home from the halfway line and carried an xG of 0.01 xG!

Atalanta truly are an attacking behemoth, one that showed absolutely no mercy on poor Torino. This scoreline could have been far worse, given the chances missed and the chances taken.

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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