Premier League Players Best Outperforming Their xG - Ranked

The top ten players best outperforming their xG this season
The top ten players best outperforming their xG this season | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Loved by many, loathed by some and not cared about at all by others, xG is one of the most discussed stats in football.

For those who don't spend their days trawling through spreadsheets for a living - lucky you - here's a brief explainer of what xG actually is.

It stands for expected goals and as the name suggests, it attempts to calculate how many times a player or team should be scoring.

The quality of each scoring chance is analysed and given an xG rating depending on various factors that affect the difficulty of the opportunity. This can include the type of assist, whether the shot was taken with the head or foot, the angle of the shot, the distance and how much pressure the shooter was under from the opposition.

Got it? See, pretty straight forward really.

If a player is outperforming xG it would suggest that they are a top class finisher - either that or they're just really lucky. We'll let you make your own mind up about which category these Premier League players, who have been defying their own xG this season, fall in to...

10. Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey has enjoyed one of his best ever seasons for Newcastle this year | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

We kick off with a somewhat surprising inclusion at first glance.

When you think about it though, it is no shock to see Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey crop up in this list. The guy only scores bangers, which have very low xG ratings.

This season's tally of six goals is one of the most prolific of his career to date. It's a feat made even more impressive by the fact that his xG is just 2.6.

xG - Goal Differential: 3.4

9. Kevin de Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne is leading the Premier League in assists | Pool/Getty Images

Kevin de Bruyne has a strong claim to being the best midfielder in world football.

The Belgian is a human passing machine, capable of making a football do things that other players can only dream of.

As well as registering insane assist number, he was also been outperforming his 7.5 xG dramatically, notching 11 Premier League goals so far.


xG - Goal Differential: 3.5

8. Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez continues to develop into an ever more important player for Manchester City
Riyad Mahrez continues to develop into an ever more important player for Manchester City | Michael Regan/Getty Images

After a quiet opening campaign for Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez has found his feet for Pep Guardiola's side this season.

His dribbles and feints continue to bamboozle defenders and he's also enjoyed a productive campaign of goals and assists.

He's scored 10 times in total , far more than his xG of 6.5 predicted.


xG - Goal Differential: 3.5

7. Sadio Mané

Sadio Mane
Sadio Mané has become an English, European and World club champion since joining Liverpool | Pool/Getty Images

In the past, Sadio Mané has received criticism for the amount of chances he spurns each week.

Though this may have been true in previous seasons, these complaints hold little weight this campaign.

Mané has scored 17 goals with an xG of just 13.3. Clinical.


xG - Goal Differential: 3.7

6. Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy is on track for his first ever Premier League Golden Boot | Pool/Getty Images

Goal getter and rival fan rustler extraordinaire, Jamie Vardy has once again proved his doubters wrong and performed fantastically this season.

The 33-year-old is in contention for his maiden Premier League Golden Boot and has been a key part of Leicester's unlikely push for Europe.

Unsurprisingly, being the ruthless finisher that he is, Vardy has also outperformed his xG of 18.5 to grab 23 goals.


xG - Goal Differential: 4.5

5. Harry Kane

Harry Kane
Harry Kane has endured an injury riddled season | Pool/Getty Images

Harry Kane has picked up his fair share of doubters this season and there are fears that he may never return to his imperious best thanks to a string of niggling injuries.

The England skipper can still finish when given the opportunity though - as his stats indicate.

In 27 games this season Kane has managed 15 goals - far more than his xG of 10.2.


xG - Goal Differential: 4.8

4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Arsenal future remains uncertain | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal record is nothing short of extraordinary.

Wherever the Gabon international has gone, he has scored his metronomic regularity and without mercy.

That trend has continue this season with the striker notching 20 goals, compared to an xG of 14.8

xG - Goal Differential: 5.2

3. Danny Ings

Danny Ings
Danny Ings is enjoying the best season of his career | Robin Jones/Getty Images

The rejuvenation of Danny Ings this season proves that Premier League redemption is still possible.

From injury prone, misfiring striker to clinical frontman the former Liverpool player's improvement has been remarkable.

Ings has managed 20 goals so far, though xG predicted he would only net just over 14 times.

xG - Goal Differential: 5.6

2. Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood is one of the most exciting young talents in world football | Pool/Getty Images

Much to Manchester United's fans dismay, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been slow to blood Mason Greenwood into the first team.

The youngster has been making up for lost time since the Premier League returned however, bursting onto the scene in electrifying fashion.

The 18-year-old has managed nine goals in only a handful of starts, a ridiculous increase from his xG of 3.1.

xG - Goal Differential: 5.9

1. Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial
No one has outperformed their xG more than Anthony Martial | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Recently, Anthony Martial has been showing that his manager was right to hand him back his number nine shirt.

He has developed into a well-rounded centre-forward with a razor sharp eye for goal and an explosive turn of pace.

This is reflected in how he has made a mockery of his 10.9 xG numbers, notching 17 goals so far.


xG - Goal Differential: 6.1