xG Check

xG Check, 31 Dec: Man City outgunned, Norwich and Palace fortunate

The champions are rarely beaten on xG but Sheffield United achieved it

11:00am on Tuesday 31st December 2019
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.

EPL Dec 29, 2019 W
  • Man City xG: 1.1
  • Sheffield Utd xG: 1.25
  • City outscored on xG at home for first time this season

It's extremely rare that City's opportunities come from low-yield chances, but it's perhaps indicative of their fragile confidence at the moment that their regular machinations aren't firing. Kevin De Bruyne was the main guilty party, striking four shots from > 25 yards that had a combined total of just 0.15 xG - that doesn't ring true with Pep, who largely frowns upon his teams firing efforts from such low yield positions. From Sheffield United's perspective, Lyn Mousset was the main guilty party, missing two excellent chances of 0.35 and 0.40 respectively.

EPL Dec 28, 2019 D
  • Norwich xG: 0.3
  • Tottenham xG: 1.85
  • Norwich score twice with 2 shots on target

In a bizarre game, Norwich's chances were all extremely low value; Mario Vrancic (0.06) slotted home from outside the area but their second goal was a strange Serge Aurier own goal that of course contributed no xG to their total. Most of Spurs' xG was taken up by Harry Kane's penalty and Christian Eriksen's free-kick, but the accumulation of their other efforts on goal - 15 shots, seven of which were on target - probably more than deserved the win. But there was, of course, Teemu Pukki's disallowed goal for a crazy VAR offside.

EPL Dec 28, 2019 D
  • Southampton xG: 1.5
  • Crystal Palace xG: 0.15
  • Palace score with a 0.04 rated opportunity

Though it was a defensive error that allowed Danny Ings to go through and score (0.29), Southampton were completely dominant in the contest and can count themselves extremely fortunate not to win. Jan Bednarek was most guilty (0.55), scooping over the crossbar when it looked easier to score, while headers from Che Adams and Ings again (0.1 each) were better chances than they appeared. Interesting point to note is the ludicrous offside goal - obviously not included in xG calculations - that in a normal non-VAR world is never excluded and Max Meyer's close-range finish would have had an xG of around 0.3 - 0.35.

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