xG Check

xG Check, 3 Mar: Leicester crashing back towards their Expected Goals

The Foxes were always overachieving and now the data is catching up with them

1:00pm on Tuesday 3rd March 2020
Paul Macdonald
EPL Feb 28, 2020 W
  • Norwich xG: 0.6
  • Leicester xG: 1.5
  • Leicester regressing to the mean

Leicester have been outperforming xG all season. They are still outperforming xG but now the results are a little more in line with what we would expect.

Against Norwich on Friday night Leicester were largely the better side but while they had 19 shots, four of which were on target, they were from largely low tariff positions. Their cumulative xG of 1.5 does suggest they were good value for at least one goal, but their fortunate wins against the grain so far this season are largely falling back into line.

This is true also of Vardy; the England forward didn't play here due to injury but his last goal was on 21 December - he's gone goalless in the league for 574 minutes since. Vardy, just like his team, was also way ahead of xG in November when Leicester could do no wrong.

ISA Mar 1, 2020 W
  • Lecce xG: 0.35
  • Atalanta xG: 5.10
  • Atalanta on track for 100 league goals

When Bayern battered in an Expected Goals score of 5.01 around their 6-0 thrashing of Hoffenheim - all the more notable considering the game was basically a non-event for the last 14 minutes due to fan protests - they would have been sure it was the highest xG of the weekend.

Step forward this astonishing Atalanta team. They smashed seven past Lecce on an xG of 5.10 to reach 70 league goals for the season - an average of 2.8 per game, which is totally unheard of in Italy. What's more, they aren't that far ahead of their overall xG either, which places them in the region of the 63-goal mark. They are a relentless machine and we should enjoy them while this lasts;

Lecce, like Torino just a few weeks ago, we just completely blown away. Also bear in mind that one of Atalanta's goals was an OG, which isn't included in xG calculations, making their feat all the more impressive.

FL1 Feb 28, 2020 W
  • Nimes xG: 2.5
  • Marseille xG: 1.97
  • Clinical finishing from Benedetto

This match was notable from the perspective of some superbly clinical finishing from Dario Benedetto, who decided a contest Nimes really didn't deserve to lose.

Nimes were well ahead of Marseille on the xG count, and two poor misses in the space of 15 seconds in the second half from Loick Landre and Renaud Ripart - the latter heading wide when it look easier to hit the target - carried a combined total of 1.06 xG.

Benedetto, on the other hand, was far from wasteful. His first goal carried a huge xG as he simply tapped home at the back post (0.83 xG) but his other two were superb opportunist finishes, the middle one of his hat-trick a confident lob over the goalkeeper. Three shots, three goals on an xG of 1.65. It doesn't get much better than that.

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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