Expected Stats: Which Consistent Overperformers are Underperforming This Season?

The data on expected statistics from the first four gameweeks of this turbulent 2020/21 Premier League season is now substantial enough for FPL managers to start making conclusions on.

In my article, I will be pointing out the underperforming players so far this season in both non-penalty expected goals and expected assists (npxG/xA) who, in contrast, have tended to historically outperform those statistics in their career since they were first introduced at the start of the 2017/18 season.

For the purpose of my analysis, underperform means that the player has scored or assisted less than what they were expected to. On the other hand, overperform means that the individual has scored or assisted more than what they were expected to. Non-penalty expected goals is also a truer metric as it removes penalties from the equation.

Therefore, such an analysis will allow us to predict with conviction which consistent midfielders and strikers ought to decidedly start increasing the amount of their attacking returns as the season progresses.

npxG Underperformers 20/21

20/21 Goalscoring Underperformer *Career npxG*Career npGCareer delta20/21 npxG20/21npG20/21 delta
Timo Werner47.652+4.40.80-0.8
Kevin de Bruyne14.721+6.30.70-0.7
Harry Kane 46.559+12.52.62-0.6
npxG=Non-Penalty Expected Goals
npG=Non-Penalty Goals
*Since introduction of expected stats on fbref.com
  • Richarlison is the biggest underperformer by far (-1.6) to date although he hasn’t historically outperformed by a big amount in goals scored (only -1.3) compared to others.
  • Important to note that Timo Werner is no longer tearing it up in the Bundesliga since his move to Chelsea. It remains to be seen how he will fully fit in at Chelsea given that their best attacking players haven’t all started simultaneously yet. I do think he will come onto the scene sooner rather than later given his impressive record. The more he drops in price, the better for us FPL managers.
  • It’s no surprise to see De Bruyne on this list given his quiet gameweeks 3 & 4. His history of eclipsing xG stats isn’t actually just down to last season’s heroics so FPL managers would be wise to show patience with the Belgian maestro if fit for Gameweek 5.
  • Those unsure on the England captain may wish to reconsider given that he is actually underperforming in npxG so far despite already scoring two non-penalty goals. Furthermore, in his career he has scored a lot more goals than what he was expected to by a significant amount (+12.5), which bodes well for the rest of the season.

xA underperformers 20/21

20/21 Assisting Underperformer *Career xA*Career AssistsCareer delta 20/21 xA20/21 Assists20/21 delta
Mo Salah26.228+1.81.51-0.5
Son Heung-Min16.623+6.41.71-0.7
Adama Traoré8.910+1.10.40-0.4
xA=Expected Assists
*Since introduction of expected stats on fbref.com
  • With 5 goals already, it’s really striking to learn that the Egyptian king is underperforming on the assists front.
  • The clamour for the Spurs attacking double-up is understandable when you see that the South Korean ought to have had more than just the one assist this season. Additionally, he has exceeded his xA tally by a considerable amount (+6.4) over time, which should mean that the pendulum will swing big the other way soon.
  • Could Wolves’ average start to the season on the goalsoring front be partly explained by the Spaniard’s misfortunes on the creativity side? The team have benefited in the past from the winger outpacing his xA tally so expect a future Wolves revival to be spearheaded by Traoré.

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