New Arsenal man on list of top 10 players outperforming their xG this season

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

We’ve had a good laugh at the players who are being most conspicuously owned by their xG stats, so it’s only right and fair that we acknowledge those at the other end of the scale who are making a mockery of the boffins’ projections.

The mirror-image feature is here, while this one sadly produces the most predictable man in first and forcing us into an anti-clickbait headline dammit. 


10. Leandro Trossard (Brighton/Arsenal) – +2.6
Expected goals: 4.4
Actual goals: 7

No wonder Arsenal bought him as another option to the fella below…


9. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) – +2.7
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 7

Takes some difficult shots and is largely successful, though he is going through something of a mini-drought so may soon drop off the list.


9. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – +2.7
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 6

Set the tone for Brighton’s season with both goals in the opening day 2-1 win over Manchester United. Sadly for many, it turns out this did not also set the tone for Manchester United’s season. They’re quite good now. Almost entirely non-embarrassing.


7. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – +2.8
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 7

Scored a couple in the 9-0 Bournemouth rout, which would not be classed as the most important of goals. Also scored the equaliser in what remains Newcastle’s only defeat of the season, which definitely was the most important of goals. The brace in a very silly 3-3 draw against Brighton also handy.


6. Phil Foden (Manchester City) – +3.3
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 7

And 1.9 of that very impressive overall figure is accounted for by Foden’s hat-trick in the Manchester derby. Hasn’t added to his goal tally since the World Cup having been used sparingly by Pep Guardiola.


5. Rodrigo (Leeds) – +3.5
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 10

There are five players in double figures for Premier League goals this season. Rodrigo has got himself to double figures from what is relatively speaking a remarkably meagre xG figure. Should have scored v Villa, mind.


4. Miguel Almiron (Newcastle) – +3.6
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 9

Even matching that xG would make this an eye-catchingly impressive goalscoring season for Almiron. Not least because scoring 0.4 of a goal would be quite a trick. But Almiron, one of the real stories of the season, has obliterated even that high mark having matched his goals tally from his first 110 Premier League games in the first half of this season.


3. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – +4.3
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 16

Fair to say his penalty miss at Nottingham Forest will not his most memorable 12-yard failure of 2022, but even that 0.8 hit can’t unduly dent some very tidy numbers indeed for a prolific striker who is somehow managing to simultaneously be a) closing in on 200 Premier League goals, b) on course for his best ever goalscoring season and c) absolutely nowhere near challenging for the Golden Boot.


2. James Maddison (Leicester) – +4.4
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 7

Brilliantly clinical numbers these from the World Cup benchwarmer, outperforming his xG by almost three times. Leicester could really, really do with him fit.


1. Erling Haaland (Manchester City) – +8.1
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 25

Even his xG number is daft – merely matching that would put him ahead of Kane in the top scorer charts. What a dreary top name this is for a feature, though. Literally the first name anyone would have come up with having given the whole thing 0.3 seconds’ thought. How drab. Where’s some rogue loon with seven goals from 0.4 xG for goodness’ sake?

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