A stat that is now widely used for both team and player performance but what actually is xG? According to StatsBomb xG is ‘a metric designed to measure the probability of a shot resulting in a goal.’
StatsBomb also state that ‘An xG model uses historical information from thousands of shots with similar characteristics to estimate the likelihood of a goal on a scale between 0 and 1.’
So now that xG has been explained let’s look at Rangers forwards xG compared to actual goals scored;
Seven forwards with an xG of at least 1 and only three are performing above expectation, really poor returns for forwards in a title challenging side. Rangers really need more goal production from Morelos, Sakala and Kent if they are to push forward. Poor finishing is something which cost Rangers massively at the start of the season and is part of the reason they currently sit in 2nd place.
Rangers xG as a team is 65.1 and they have scored 72 goals so far this season, in comparison, their closest rivals have an xG of 69.2 and have scored 93 goals. So Rangers have scored seven goals over expectation where as Celtic have scored twenty-four goals over expectation. Rangers xG to actual goal performance is more similar to Hearts who have an xG of 43 and have scored 49 goals, six goals over expectation.
Rangers need to be much closer to their rivals in this aspect and not performing similarly to the 3rd best side in the country. So how can this be solved?
The answer is simple, finish chances more consistently! Unfortunately it’s never as easy as that, Morelos and Sakala are inconsistent finishers and have been their whole time at Rangers and Kent barely shoots but his finishing is also inconsistent when he does.
Rangers will undoubtedly be looking at new forwards to come in next season with Morelos and Kent out of contract and Roofe perpetually struggling for fitness. So the recruitment team need to get these moves right, Rangers create lots of good quality chances, they just need forwards capable of consistently putting those chances in the back of the net.
Are there any forwards out there who you think can help Rangers improve their actual goals to xG performance?