Blackpool For Promotion? Barnsley and Wigan Fighting Relegation? – League One xG Table Revealed

Yesterday, we revealed how the Championship table would look if results were based on xG rather than goals.

We love xG here at The Real EFL. It’s a metric used to determine the quality of a chance and the likelihood of a goal being scored. For instance, we all saw Dion Charles miss for Bolton last night – it had an xG of 0.76, according to stats provider Wyscout. That means on three out of four occasions, the chance is buried. The other occasion? Dion Charles is on the end of it.

Every game across the EFL divisions has an xG stat attributed to it. Last night’s clash between Portsmouth and Bolton finished 2-0 to Pompey, but on xG, it was 1.90 v 2.03 for the Trotters. That means on another day, the game could easily have been a 2-2 draw, but for the purpose of our table, it would have been a Bolton win, 2-1.

That’s right – we’ve got an alternative League One table where points have been allocated based on xG. It uses data up to Friday last week, so Bolton’s loss last night isn’t included, but if it were, it would be three points to the Trotters, with them having an xG of 2.03, or two goals and Pompey only 1.90, or 1 goal. That’s how the table below has been worked out across the whole season.

Using data from Football xG, every game played in League One has been reimagined this season. Instead of wins being allocated to goals, we’ve got the league table as it would be if every bit of xG led to a goal. It’s hypothetical, of course, but every result has now been allocated win, loss, or draw based on xG data, not on goals. That has been used to create an alternative table.

These stats are relevant to December 8th and do not take into account this weekend’s fixtures. Do be aware that different outlets do have slightly different xG outcomes – Fotmob, for instance, has an xG published straight after a game but is often less accurate than Wyscout, which is published up to 24 hours later.

In League One, there are very few teams who are wildly overperforming or underperforming. Only one team not currently in the top ten would be on xG data – Bristol Rovers, who are eleventh. Blackpool would be bumped up from play-off chasers to automatic promotion contenders, whilst Lincoln and Bolton, due to meet on Boxing Day, would be the fringe candidates for a top-six spot – both would have won matches this week, bear that in mind.

The two interesting clubs are Wycombe and Exeter. The Chairboys have been in freefall, but they’d be 11th on xG, five points better off than they are now. Exeter, also sinking like the Titanic, would be four points better off.

At the bottom, two teams from the top half really should be struggling. Barnsley, in ninth, would only just be outside the relegation spots, 12 points worse off than they are now. It might have Tylkes fans laughing, but a club can only sustain xG defeats for so long before they manifest into real defeats – be warned. Shrewsbury fans are probably surprised they’ve managed to climb to 12th at all this season, and it’s a position that perhaps doesn’t quite reflect their chances or chances conceded.

Wigan are the biggest loser – they would be 18 points worse off than they are now if games were decided purely on xG. They would have lost on Saturday against Lincoln City, another xG defeat that doesn’t match real life. Remember, their five points here do have an eight-point deduction included, but the Latics would still be in the bottom four.

Here’s the full table for you – are your team where you expected? Let us know on social media.

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