Football is (not) a science of XG and XP: Union should have already had 7 out of 9 in the qualifiers and Anderlecht already have twenty points too many – Football News

RSC Anderlecht currently tops the Jupiler Pro League. But things could also have gone very differently. This is evident from the table of expected points based on the goals that should have been scored.

RSC Anderlecht currently has a goal difference of +28 through 33 matches. This is greatly beyond its capabilities at the moment. According to 'Expected Goals' their goal difference should only be +4.4.

This is what makes the purple and white team the “lucky” team par excellence this season, either by scoring from half-chance, or because of its opponents wasting big chances. They have collected at least twenty bonus points this season.


Based on the expected goals, Anderlecht could have struggled to reach Play-off 1, as they actually just finished above KAA Gent. The top six would have been the same as they are now anyway.

KV Mechelen also performed much better than expected. According to the data, they should actually only be 12th instead of being the Buffaloes' biggest rival in the European qualifying battle.

Anderlecht is actually the surprise

Club Brugge will occupy second place, ahead of Genk, Cercle Brugge, Antwerp, Anderlecht and Ghent in the expected goals system. Although of course that also has to happen on the pitch, and that's where Anderlecht show up best. Eye-catching: Union SG was supposed to get 7 out of 9 in the Champions Play-off.

It's hard to explain exactly why, but the Purple and White were supposed to concede at least fourteen more goals this season than they actually conceded. Super saves or bad finishes?

union

It also places the performances of Jan Vertonghen and Zeno Debast, among others, somewhat out of proportion. They have now achieved a lot of clean sheets and have conceded a total of 34 goals in 33 games, but it should have been 47.9.

The differences at the bottom will be less small, although OH Leuven would normally have been supposed to play the preliminary rounds instead of Charleroi. Last weekend Leuven was very effective again. Kortrijk, RWDM and Eupen will also play a relegation battle with few differences between them.

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Megan Vasquez

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