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Explaining Expected Goals

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One of the statistic’s pioneers sheds some light on why this stat is valuable.

We talk a lot about Expected Goals around these parts. Almost every week, it seems, a debate rages in the comments section about the stat’s usefulness. A lot of times, there seems to be a genuine misunderstanding about what the number represents and what it is trying to say. I suspect this debate is going on a lot in similar soccer communities.

That’s a big part of why I wanted to help make this video. You may not know the name Michael Caley, but you probably should. He’s one of the pioneers of the xG model. He also writes for SB Nation’s Tottenham site Cartilage Free Captain, 538 and is one of the co-hosts of the Double Pivot Podcast.

This video doesn’t get into all the intricacies of the formula or the research that backs up its findings, but it does help explain how the xG formula works. Hopefully, it will help raise the level of discourse about it as well.