‘Deserve’ is a thorny term in football. In ‘The Numbers Game‘, Anderson and Sally famously wrote that a game of football comes down to 50 percent skill and 50 percent luck; if it’s as random as they claim, how often does any team really deserve the result they get?
We can look at things like expected goals to give us a better idea of the chances teams have had, but it’s not without its flaws. Even so, it’s probably the best method we have to get an idea. Readers of my data viz round ups will be familiar with the following chart (though for this article I’ll be using screen shots rather than the interactive versions).
It shows the expected goals (or ‘xG’) Liverpool have had themselves and allowed their opponents in each match in league and Europe this season, with the circles colour coded by the actual result. While not without exceptions, it suggests that the Reds have largely deserved what they got from each match this season.
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