Premier League xG: Title Race and European Places

This table describes the xG per match of each team in the Premier League. xG = Expected Goals to be scored

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Headed into the final run-in of the 2022/23 Premier League season, everything is set up nicely for a truly thrilling finale, with the title and the European positions all well and truly up for grabs. Plenty to occupy those assessing the best betting sites with welcome bonus, and the top tipping websites.

Most observers had expected Mikel Arteta’s flying Arsenal side to have wilted by now, and yet they still sit five points clear of the chasing pack with only 11 games remaining. Can they hang on, or will the vast experience of Manchester City tell in the run-in?

The race for the top four looks similarly tight. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are in the box seats as things stand, but the likes of Newcastle United, Liverpool, and even unfancied Brighton & Hove Albion are all within striking distance if able to produce a strong end to the season.

xG Points The Way

Attempting to predict how it will all unfold is no easy task, but one way in which many try to make sense of all the noise, data, and stats, is via the Expected Goals (xG) metric.

Simply put, xG places a value on the number of goals a side could be expected to both score and concede, given the quality of chances they create and give up during their matches. These football xg stats For and xG Against stats can then be extrapolated to predict the number of points a side can be expected to achieve in their remaining games.

Whilst never an exact science, this measure has gained huge popularity as a prediction tool in recent years and, over a large sample of games, regularly comes close to predicting the actual results of a side.

With all of the above in mind, we combined the number of points each of the top sides already has on the board with the xG points predictions for their remaining games, to come up with an estimated final points tally for each team.

Gunners Predicted to Hold On

Manchester City’s 3-1 success at the Emirates looked to be a potential momentum changer at the time, but full credit to Arsenal for bouncing back from that result in some style to re-establish their cushion at the top.

Manchester City do boast the higher xG expected points per game over the course of the season, with a figure of 2.23 compared to 2.06 for Arsenal. However, if both sides maintain these levels, there simply won't be enough games left in the campaign for the defending champions to claw back the deficit.

Our model predicts that Arsenal will end the season on 89 points, three points clear of City on 86.

Magpies Get Second Wind and Swoop for Fourth

Behind the top two, Manchester United are expected to grab third spot on 70 points, despite that recent humiliation at the hands of Liverpool. One caveat here is that the model does not factor in the four-game absence of Casemiro, who has proved so instrumental in the resurgence of Eric Ten Haag’s men in recent months. That said, the xG model does give the Red Devils a five-point cushion over the predicted fifth-placed side, so they should still have enough.

The battle for fourth is anticipated to be much closer and highly likely to go down to the final game of the season. Already having the points on the board is in Tottenham’s favour, as is the presence of the vastly experienced Antonio Conte in the dugout.

However, both Brighton and Newcastle United have games in hand on Spurs and, if both the Seagulls and Magpies maintain their overall levels, they will be right in the mix come the end of the season.

Our final table prediction has Newcastle just grabbing fourth on 67 points, one point ahead of Brighton on 66, with Spurs one point further adrift on 65. Should that prove accurate, there would be huge reasons to celebrate for a Brighton side who finally seem to be backing up their underlying numbers with goals and results. For Newcastle United meanwhile, Champion’s League qualification, in their first full season following the change in ownership, would put the club some way ahead of schedule, and in prime position for what will likely be a busy summer in the transfer market.

The big sides to miss out include Liverpool, who may be undone by a tough run-in, and Chelsea who have simply left it much too late to make an impact on the top six.

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