Expected Goals explained:
Football fans know that a player has a better chance of scoring with a shot from the edge of the six-yard box than a shot from 30+ yards, but on the stats sheet after a game, both are viewed equally in the ‘shots’ column. Infogol’s Expected Goals (xG) is a statistical metric which assesses every chance created during a game, assigning a likelihood of each individual chance being scored.
The higher the xG (1.0 being the maximum), the more likely the scoring chance. So if the xG is 0.3, the chance should be scored 30% of the time. A penalty has an xG of 0.76. (76%).
With that in mind …
Watford started excellently in the Premier League last season before fading away when safety was secured, and they had an FA Cup Final to prepare for. Javi Gracia’s side averaged 1.37 xG per game last season, and the addition of record signing Ismaïla Sarr from Rennes adds depth to an already dangerous attack.
Brighton were the third worst team in the league last season according to xG, and were fortunate to stay up, but the hiring of Graham Potter has instilled hope at the club. Potter impressed at Swansea last season, as they rated as the fourth best team in the Championship last season, and with the signings of Neal Maupay, Aaron Mooy and Leandro Trossard, much more will be expected offensively this season.
We’ve crunched the numbers and Both teams to score (BTTS) ranks a 51% chance according to the Infogol model .
Selection: Both Teams to Score ‘Yes’ @ 9/10
Charlton enjoyed their return to the Championship last weekend, earning three points in a deserved 2-1 win against Blackburn. The Addicks were solid defensively in that game, only conceding through an own goal and limiting Blackburn to just one ‘big chance.’
Stoke put in a terrible performance at home last weekend, losing 2-1 to QPR, and rightly so according to expected goals (xG: STO 1.03 – 1.46 QPR). The Potters’ attacking problems from last season look to have continued and they only generated the majority of their xG after going 2-0 down to QPR.
A tight game is expected and Infogol’s model believes there is a 60% chance of both teams NOT scoring.
Selection: Both Teams to Score – ‘No’ @ 19/20
Incredibly, Nice finished in seventh place in Ligue 1 despite scoring just 30 goals in 38 matches and Allan Saint-Maximin, who was their biggest goal threat, has now left the club.
Patrick Vieira’s pragmatic side were involved in many low-scoring games last season, conceding just 35 goals while Amiens were the second worst attacking team in the league according to xG, generating a miserable average of just 0.83 xGF per game.
However, they were relatively strong defensively, conceding 1.21 xGA per game. We calculate BTTS ‘No’ as a 62% chance so we’ll go with that.
Selection: Both Teams to Score – ‘No’ @ 6/10
*Prices correct at time of publishing
*Want more details? Shoot over to Infogol’s Expected Goals Introduction.