xG Matchup Rankings GW 5 2018

xG Match Up Rankings

With unlimited transfers, match ups are more important than ever. So how do you evaluate match ups? Especially if you’re only an aspiring Armchair Analyst and not yet the real thing. The answer? The expected goal (xG) rankings!

What are expected goals (xG)

The idea behind xG is simple. Every shot has 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:

http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2017/04/24/what-are-expected-goals-learn-what-you-need-know-about-statistic

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 American Soccer Analysis.

https://www.americansocceranalysis.com/by-game-2018/

Week 5 Offense xG Match Up Rankings

*This is the 2nd week based on 2018 data, which means small sample sizes so there’s the potential for “weird” results as the 2018 data stabilizes. Where the 2018 data was unavailable, I’ve patched it with the 2017 data.

Week 5 Defense xG Match Up Rankings

*This is the 2nd week based on 2018 data, which means small sample sizes so there’s the potential for “weird” results as the 2018 data stabilizes. Where the 2018 data was unavailable, I’ve patched it with the 2017 data.

Authors Corner

  1. WAKANDA FOREVER. Houston and Chicago have two of the highest offense scores I’ve seen writing the article (I had to redo my model for calculating clean sheet chances for New England and Portland…). Alberth Elis leads the league in xG + xA this season…GET HIM IN YOUR LINEUP.
  2. Its a weird week with some away teams scoring better than their home opponents in these rankings. Part of this is due to small sample size, but it could offer some differential options. However I’m sticking to my #playyourhometeams philosophy.
  3. I’m skeptical on Seattle defense with how injured they’ve been and how toothless their attack could be this week. Approach the whole team with caution.
  4. The top 3 xG/g teams on the year are New York, LAFC, and Chicago.
  5. The bottom 3 xG/g teams on the year are Vancouver, RSL, and Portland
  6. The top 4 xGA/g are FC Dallas, Philadelphia, New York and Columbus
  7. The bottom 4 xGA/g are Portland, LAFC, New England, and RSL.

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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