Chris and I have tended to have differences of opinion when it comes to using statistics in football, though in recent years I have found myself warming up to the idea of using certain metrics to analyse the game.
That said, I still enjoy the old adage that “Statistics are like bikinis: what they show you is interesting, but what they hide is more interesting”.
Jokes aside, expected goals can be a useful mark of how “dangerous” a player is. Without going too far into it (and trust, it’s a serious potential rabbit hole) xG (or expected goals) is a measure of the probability that a shot becomes a goal. The metric assigns every shot a probability of how likely it is to score from the position, taking into account type of assist, preceding events, etc.
This table shows the total number of expected goals for the Premier League after 22 games.
NO PRIZES FOR GUESSING WHO IS TOP:
Without meaning to air our dirty laundry, another topic Chris and I have disagreed on is Mitrovic. Don’t get me wrong, we both really rate him & both backed him to have a good World Cup with Serbia. However, I’ve regularly said that I’d love us to sign him in the summer, not only to Chris’ horror but also to the horror of many on social media.
Particularly now that it looks like Fulham will get relegated, I think he’d be a really good squad option. His movement, aerial ability, and play with his back to goal are all excellent; far too good for a side scrapping relegation in my opinion. His xG so far of 10.36 is hugely respectable given how poor this Fulham side are, add to the fact that he’s a downright bloody nuisance . If Fulham stay up, he’ll be to thank. Klopp described him as “outstanding” after we played them in November. I’d be really surprised if Michael Edwards hasn’t kept a note of this impressive statistic and listed him as a possible value signing for the summer.