Things you need
- Device with internet access
Is your child or teen excited about watching the Matildas in the upcoming Women's World Cup in July? The expected goals (xG) formula is a soccer statistic that shows how many goals a team or striker is meant to score. Ask them to predict who'll win the world cup or the premiership league and see if they can justify their prediction using this simple mathematical model.
Is your teenager a fan of Sam Kerr, Messi, or Ronaldo? If they’re getting up early to watch the Women's World Cup, it’s time to put that obsession to good use. They can calculate their favourite player's expected goal (xG) value for their next match by using this simple mathematical model.
When all shots are treated equally, the expected number of goals is about 10% of the player’s attempted shots at the goal in their previous match. This can be represented using the formula:
xG = 0.1 x shots
So, if a player attempts 10 shots at the goal in their previous match, it is expected that they'll score 1 goal in the next match. This is because:
xG = 0.1 x 10
xG = 1
The xG formula is a simple model that you can use to fuel some good discussion during the game.
While technology and artificial intelligence can calculate statistics faster than humans, there’s still a need for humans to interpret it. This is especially true when there are a high number of variables, such as in a football match. Any kind of career in sport - from sports scientists, coaches and talent scouts to sports journalists and the professional athletes themselves - will come with a need to interpret data. In fact, pretty much any business, from running a cafe through to managing a mining facility, requires you to use data effectively to make critical business decisions on a daily basis.