The 2021-22 Premier League xG table: Man Utd 3rd worst xG against…

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Harry Maguire after getting sent off against Watford, Vicarage Road, November 2021.

We’re over a third of the way into the 2021-22 Premier League season, and the table has started to take shape โ€“ but can any clubs feel lucky or hard done by?

Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have started to pull away from the rest of the chasing pack, but have their results reflected the quality of their performances?

Meanwhile, sides like Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham have had their struggles this season in terms of results, but what about the underlying performances?

The Expected Goals (xG) metric uses a complex algorithm to determine the quality of chances that each side has created and conceded this season, giving us a useful tool to measure how good their performances have actually been, regardless of the scorelines.

With data from Understat, here are the tables in terms of Expected Goals so far this season.

Expected Goals (xG)

1. Liverpool – 37.35
2. Manchester City – 30.51
3. Chelsea – 27.55
4. West Ham – 21.93
5. Manchester United – 21.11
6. Brentford – 20.11
7. Arsenal – 19.48
=8. Everton – 18.68
=8. Leicester – 18.68
10. Crystal Palace – 18.55
11. Southampton – 18.32
12. Wolverhampton Wanderers – 17.62
13. Leeds United – 17.52
14. Watford – 16.92
15. Brighton – 16.73
16. Tottenham – 15.82
17. Burnley – 14.20
18. Newcastle United – 13.97
19. Aston Villa – 13.49
20. Norwich – 12.24

Given Liverpool are on track to break all kinds of Premier League goalscoring stats, with 10 more goals scored than any other side, it’s no surprise to see them well out in front in terms of their xG. They’re slightly overperforming, having scored 43 goals, but have been by the far best side in terms of creating chances.

Elsewhere, Manchester City and Chelsea are riding high, only four sides have created less xG than Tottenham, while relegation battlers Burnley, Newcastle and Norwich are predictably down there.

Expected Goals Against (xGa)

1. Manchester City – 8.90
2. Chelsea – 12.91
3. Liverpool – 14.05
4. Crystal Palace – 14.74
5. Brighton – 16.73
6. Wolves – 16.94
7. Brentford – 17.36
8. West Ham – 18.04
9. Tottenham – 18.27
10. Southampton – 19.95
11. Aston Villa – 20.62
12. Everton – 21.00
13. Burnley – 21.47
14. Leeds United – 22.05
15. Leicester – 23.01
16. Arsenal – 23.85
17. Norwich – 24.29
18. Manchester United – 24.59
19. Watford – 24.91
20. Newcastle United – 26.91

Chelsea have the best defensive record in the division, having conceded just six goals in 14 games, but they’re considerably overperforming in terms of their xGA (12.91) – which perhaps points to how good Edouard Mendy has been between the sticks.

Manchester City actually have the best record in terms of allowing the fewest chances, with just 8.90 xGA โ€“ which tallies with their eight goals conceded. Liverpool, unsurprisingly, make up the top three โ€“ we’re sensing a theme here.

Most incredibly, Manchester United sit 18th for expected goals against โ€“ sitting below relegation battlers Norwich in that regard. Their 24 goals conceded is representative of the chances they’ve allowed.

READ:ย 9 incredible stats behind Chelseaโ€™s immense defensive record in 21-22

Expected Points (xPTS)

1. Manchester City – 32.13
2. Liverpool – 31.57
3. Chelsea – 27.85
4. West Ham – 22.19
5. Brentford – 22.11
6. Crystal Palace – 21.59
7. Wolves – 20.05
8. Brighton – 19.35
9. Arsenal – 19.27
10. Southampton – 19.14
11. Everton – 18.54
12. Manchester United – 17.71
13. Leeds – 17.69
14. Tottenham – 17.17
15. Leicester – 16.33
16. Watford – 14.39
17. Aston Villa – 14.11
18. Burnley – 12.80
19. Norwich – 12.12
20. Newcastle United – 10.65

Expected Points (xPTS) uses the for and against xG on a game-by-game basis to determine how many points a side should have taken.

Once again, City, Liverpool and Chelsea are comfortably in front in that regard, while Burnley, Norwich and Newcastle comprise the bottom three. The table doesn’t lie.

xG Differential

1. Liverpool – +23.3
2. Manchester City – +21.61
3. Chelsea – +14.64
4. West Ham – +3.89
5. Crystal Palace – +3.81
6. Brentford – +2.75
7. Wolverhampton Wanderers – +0.68
8. Brighton – -0.81
9. Southampton – -1.63
10. Everton – -2.32
11. Tottenham – -2.45
12. Manchester United – -3.48
13. Arsenal – -4.37
14. Leicester – -4.4
15. Leeds United – -4.53
16. Aston Villa – -7.13
17. Burnley – -7.27
18. Watford – -7.99
19. Norwich – -12.05
20. Newcastle United – -12.94

Remarkably, 14 games into the season, only four sides have a positive goal difference in the actual Premier League table. But seven sides have registered more xG than xGA – with Crystal Palace and Brentford perhaps a little unfortunate to sit 11th and 12th respectively.

This is perhaps the starkest evidence of quite how far ahead of the competition the top three have been this season.


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