2017 Week 23 xG Matchup Rankings

Week 23 xG Matchup Rankings

With unlimited transfers this season, match ups are more important than ever. The question is how to evaluate match ups, especially if you’re only an aspiring Armchair Analyst and not yet the real thing. The answer? Expected Goals (xG).

What are expected goals (xG)

The idea behind xG is simple. Every shot is awarded a probability of scoring based on the position on the field and the game situation, based on giant databases of shots from years and years of data. Then at the end of the game all the xGs from the individual shots are added up to generate the team’s xG for that game. This metric is a useful measure of the teams overall attacking or defending play, more so than just looking at how many goals a team has scored or allowed. If you’d like to learn more, there’s a nice video by MLS to explain further:


How to use these rankings

The rankings below use the xG metric to rank the match ups each week to help you determine which teams you should try to choose your attackers or defenders from. Each teams score is an average of their xG/g and their opponent’s xG/g separated out into offense/defense and home/away match ups. For example, if Atlanta plays NYCFC at home. Atlanta has an average home xG/g is 1.62 and NYCFC’s has an average away xG/g allowed is 0.96 for an offensive xG score  of 1.29 xG. The reverse can be done to calculate their defensive score for this week. The game by game xG numbers are taken from Ben Baer’s weekly xG article.

Week 23 Offense xG Match Up Rankings

Season Offense: Match up calculated using season xG average.

Form Offense: Match up calculated using average of last 3 games.

Week 23 RankTeamOpponentH/ASeason OFFForm OFF
1Philadelphia UnionMTLH1.722.36
2NY Red BullsOCSCH1.631.7
3Houston DynamoSJEH1.611.71
4NE RevolutionVANH1.751.52
6Columbus CrewCHIH1.391.59
9FC DallasCOLH1.361.42
10Seattle SoundersSKCH1.311.39
11Vancouver Whitecaps FCNERA1.041.42
12Portland TimbersTORA1.121.18
13DC UnitedRSLH1.30.97
14Montreal ImpactPHIA1.111.16
15LA GalaxyNYCFCH1.111
16Chicago FireCLBA1.110.98
17Colorado RapidsFCDA0.851.13
18San Jose EarthquakesHOUA0.971.01
19Sporting Kansas CitySEAA0.920.94
20Orlando CityNYRBA0.930.74

Week 23 Defense xG Match Up Rankings

Season Defense: Match up calculated using season xG average.

Form Defense: Match up calculated using average of last 3 games.

Week 23 RankTeamOpponentH/ASeason DEFForm DEF
1NY Red BullsOCSCH0.930.74
2Seattle SoundersSKCH0.920.94
3Houston DynamoSJEH0.971.01
4FC DallasCOLH0.851.13
5Columbus CrewCHIH1.110.98
7Philadelphia UnionMTLH1.111.16
10NE RevolutionVANH1.041.42
11Sporting Kansas CitySEAA1.311.39
12Colorado RapidsFCDA1.361.42
13Portland TimbersTORA1.351.45
14DC UnitedRSLH1.261.67
15Chicago FireCLBA1.391.59
16LA GalaxyNYCFCH1.381.61
17Vancouver Whitecaps FCNERA1.751.52
18San Jose EarthquakesHOUA1.611.71
19Orlando CityNYRBA1.631.7
20Montreal ImpactPHIA1.722.36

Author’s Corner

  1. The #1 offense this week is Philadelphia
  2. The #1 defense this week is New York Red Bulls
  3. The highest total xG games this week are PHI vs. MTL, NER vs. VAN, and HOU vs. SJE
  4. The best chances for a clean sheet are SEA, NYRB, and FCD
  5. The biggest xG differential favorites this week are NER, NYRB and HOU
  6. The only away xG differential favorite is NYCFC
  7. Even though FCD lost at PHI, they outscored them in xG by nearly 1 goal
  8. CHI won 4-1 over NER, but had just 0.66 xG
  9. SEA scored 4 goals compared to 3 xG.

About Kyle Mcelhinny

Scientist by day, soccer fan by night. Nerd always. Using stats to overcome my lack of knowledge about the beautiful game.

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