Who SHOULD have scored most Premier League goals?

Date published: Tuesday 14th January 2020 7:29

We look at the xG numbers – thanks to understat – to find out who should be the Premier League’s top scorers judging on the quality of the chances they have enjoyed. No sign of Danny Ings as he is feasting off scraps.


10) Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Expected goals: 10.15
Actual goals: 13

You may have heard – he’s really rather good. Quite possibly the best in the history of the Premier League. And it’s only a lack of minutes that leaves him trailing in the Golden Boot race this season…


9) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Expected goals: 10.25
Actual goals: 14

The quality of his chances this season has dived from 0.77 xG per 90 last season to 0.47 xG per 90 and yet Aubameyang is scoring goals at roughly the same rate as he feasts on relative scraps. He is one of the most prolific strikers in the history of the Premier League and Arsenal are very lucky to have him.


8) Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Expected goals: 10.67
Actual goals: 11

Probably the best player in the world right now. Liverpool’s top scorer this season is actually being presented with slightly lower-quality chances than Mo Salah – and only marginally better than Roberto Firmino – but he is out-performing his teammates, and just about everybody else in the Premier League. In only one of his four seasons at Liverpool has he delivered below his xG.


7) Mo Salah (Liverpool)
Expected goals: 10.91
Actual goals: 10

A general decline? After scoring 32 goals from an xG of barely 25 in 2017/18 and then 22 goals from 21.79 in 2018/19 comes a season in which he is chasing his xG as Liverpool are chasing the title. But if he carries on hitting the target with 63% of his shots, he will surely match last season’s total.


6) Chris Wood (Burnley)
Expected goals: 11.15
Actual goals: 8

He’s missed 15 Opta-defined Big Chances – who knew? – in a season which really should be seeing the New Zealander already on double figures. Burnley are bang in trouble and part of the blame must lie at the door of the misfiring Wood.


5) Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
Expected goals: 11.24
Actual goals: 13

A truly excellent penalty-box poacher. His goals may have come against Burnley, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Watford, Southampton, Wolves, Sheffield United and Norwich but Chelsea will not care a jot; they could never have predicted that Abraham – with no track record at this level – could have reached double figures long before Christmas.


4) Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Expected goals: 11.48
Actual goals: 17

No goals in his last two games but he has basically been given no service as Leicester have struggled. He is still way, way ahead of his expected numbers and undoubtedly one of the best players outside the financial elite clubs. He hits the target with two-third of his shots and that is a sign of a player whose decision-making is exemplary.


3) Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Expected goals: 11.58
Actual goals: 9

While Raheem Sterling lags just behind his xG and Sergio Aguero batters his xG out of sight, Jesus continues to fall so far short that Manchester City clearly need to look for a long-term successor to the Argentine. For it is not Jesus, who should basically be scoring a goal a game with that City midfield.


2) Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Expected goals: 11.59
Actual goals: 11

Last season was the first in which Sterling scored more goals than he should, and the boss has not exactly helped him back to that form by resting him for Premier League games against Everton and Aston Villa. His finishing against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup suggested he is going to be in the red for a while…


1) Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Expected goals: 15.11
Actual goals: 14

Seven penalties (two of them missed) tells you a) why Rashford’s xG is so high and b) partly why he is falling short. But he is now in a ridiculously rich vein of form that surely a hat-trick is on its way

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