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Author Topic: xG - why we're still in the Champions League race (for now...)  (Read 148 times)

Cathal

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xG - why we're still in the Champions League race (for now...)
« on: December 19, 2017, 11:36:20 AM »

I did a bit of research into xG (expected goals). xG is one big calculation to try and work out if a team and their players are scoring goals at a better or worse rate than average. It's flawed, but it also has it merits and this is what caught my attention. If you work out how the table would look if every team in Serie A were average at taking their chances, this is how the table would look.

1. Napoli - 38 points, 2. Juventus - 31 points, 3. 1927 - 30 points, 4. Inter - 30 points, 5. Lazio - 29 points, 6. Atalanta - 29 points

Keep in mind we've a game in hand. Assuming we'd get a result against Udinese, we've been on par with Juventus and Inter all season in terms of overall performance. So what's the difference?

This might explain in part why Juventus and Inter are at the top of the table while we're a bit further back.

Icardi - 17 goals, xG - 12, Immobile - 15 goals, xG - 13, Dybala - 12 goals, xG - 7, Mertens - 10 goals, xG - 11, Higuain - 9 goals, xG - 6, Dzeko - 8 goals, xG - 10, Perisic- 7 goals, xG - 4

Immobile has had more opportunities to score this season than any striker in the league and he's more clinical than the average striker (unlike Mertens and Dzeko) but he's nowhere close to Icardi and Perisic or Dybala and Higuain in terms of being clinical in front of goal.

In short, Juventus and Inter are in contention because they have a couple of special individuals doing special things - Napoli, 1927 and Lazio are having good seasons because they are good teams.

But here's our problem. Napoli, Juventus, Inter and 1927 rank in the Top 4 in the league when it comes to limiting the opposition's chances. Lazio are 10th. Worse still, we've a game in hand to all the teams below us which means in truth, we probably rank quite a bit lower than 10th. They have top defences - ours might actually be below average.

What xG suggests is this - Lazio are in the Champions League race if 'things even out', but for things to even out, we may need a team or two above us to pick up a couple of injuries. But if we sort our backline out and keep creating chances at the other end, we'll probably make the Champions League regardless.
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Re: xG - why we're still in the Champions League race (for now...)
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 12:04:54 PM »

Nothing new for me ... defense need better players.

Strikers win games, defenses win titles. Easy. :vcool:
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