Arsenal and Fulham the Premier League's biggest xGD Overperformers



The Premier League is done and dusted, with Manchester City asserting their dominance on English football once more. Using our xG model, we take a look at how the Premier League table would have ended up if it was based on xG difference. 


The Top Four


Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle completed the top four with the Magpies securing a Champions League spot for the first time in 20 years. Arsenal had a fantastic season pushing Man City all the way, and they are the second biggest overperformers in terms of their actual goal difference vs their expected goal difference. The Gunners had the second highest goal difference in the league with 45 but their xGD was 17.3 behind their actual at 27.7. 


The other surprise here is that Brighton make it into the top four with the third highest expected goal difference of 28.7. Newcastle are the only side in the league to have performed to the exact expectation of their goal difference with their 35 actual perfectly matching their 35 xGD. Manchester United are the side that are pushed out by Brighton finishing in 6th. Liverpool occupy fifth with an expected goal difference of 24.5.


Mid Table


Both Chelsea and Spurs had poor seasons by their standards with them finishing 12th and 8th respectively. Chelsea would have finished a little higher if it were down to xGD, with their -0.3 xGD coming in as the ninth best. Spurs would have kept their eighth position with their actual GD of 7 proving 2.7 goals higher than their xGD of 4.3. 



Arsenal and Fulham the Premier League's biggest xGD Overperformers



Relegation Zone


Leicester City, Leeds and Southampton were all unable to beat the drop this season and were forced to accept relegation to the Championship. Basement boys, Southampton, finished the season with the worst goal difference in the league (-37), however, their xG difference comes in at -23.6 which is the largest discrepancy in the league with their actual goal difference being -13.4 goals behind the prediction.


Based on xGD, neither Leeds or Leicester would have ended up in the bottom three and they would instead have been replaced by Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest. The xGD model highlights that Nottingham Forest would have occupied the bottom spot with a -29.2 xGD, with The Cherries slightly ahead of them in 19th with an xG of -25.8.

Fulham would have narrowly avoided relegation if xGD was the decider, they were the league's biggest overperformers. Their actual goal difference of 2, was 24 goals above their xGD of -22!

Arsenal and Fulham the Premier League's biggest xGD Overperformers