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Expected Goals

When choosing a bet it is important to look beyond just recent results and position in the league table, especially if you want to find value and gain a slight edge on the bookmaker. Without having to look deep into the statistics on a plethora of matches, a very time consuming task, you can see the figures of how a team has been performing in an attacking and defensive sense via expected goals. You can find these numbers in terms of tables ranked by expected points, filter them to list the most creative sides in order and see the expected goals numbers on every league game from these free resources -


According to Opta - Expected goals measures the quality of a shot based on several variables such as assist type, shot angle and distance from goal, whether it was a headed shot and whether it was defined as a big chance. Adding up a player or team’s expected goals can give us an indication of how many goals a player or team should have scored on average, given the shots they have taken. 

Finding the teams and players who have underperformed given their expected goals figures can indicate that we as bettors should expect a turnaround. If a side are shipping goals for a short period, however still limiting the other team to fewer and low quality opportunities, then the chances are that their form will turn around if they can sustain that process. Likewise in attack, if a team cannot hit a barn door but are posting good expected goals numbers, then if they maintain that process, keep creating the chances, then eventually they will start to put them away and their form will pick up as a result.


Sean Dyche’s Burnley have conceded 18 goals so far this season, the fifth worst record in the division. However the resolute and firm defensive nature of his side is still there, we should not be expecting them to carry on letting goals in at this rate, they have the sixth best defence in the league in terms of expected goals against with 13.9. They have let in 4.1 more goals than the chances they have conceded have equated to in terms of expected goals.

Tottenham Hotspur currently sit top of the Premier League, however they are overperforming at an unsustainable rate. They have scored 23 goals from chances equating to 18.5 expected goals, across the course of the season it will be very tough to repeat those numbers, they will not be able to rely on spectacular strikes such as Son Heung-Min’s screamer in the North London derby every match, a shot that was valued at 0.02 expected goals, effectively saying that that shot had a one in 50 chance of going in.

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