A huge football fan who researches the key metrics that influence the successful teams from the unsuccessful.
Expected goals (xG) is one of the first advanced statistics to become widely known amongst the football (soccer) community. It is often mentioned and discussed by television broadcasters and commenters when analysing the outcome of a game, or the abilities of a particular player. xG has grown and developed from the backroom staff, scouts and analysts and now is frequently referenced by managers across the globe.
Implementation of xG in mobile apps has been a slow process, but there are a small number which are now providing this. After reviewing the App Store and Google Play Store, we tested all the mobile apps found providing expected goals, and our reviews and rankings are below.
The main features we were looking for in the apps that were downloaded and reviewed were:
- Personalisation of stats – Can the stats be personalised? This allows the user to create their own bespoke view, to find specific scenarios where teams are performing better or worse than expectations.
- Detail in the app – How much detail is available? The more detail that is available, the easier it will be for the user to spot trends.
- User experience – How easy is the app to navigate and how well is the data presented?
- Comparison of stats – Can the expected goals totals be compared across fixtures and results?
- Availability and cost – How many leagues are available on the app and how much does the app cost to download or how much is a subscription?
1. Edge Football Stats
Edge Football Stats is a new app, which appears to have recently introduced expected goals. It is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store and is free to download.
Where this app is unique and shines is the analysis that can be completed by the user. The xG stats can be analysed across any period of the users’ choice, or by home or away stats. This provides a level of detail and analysis that is not seen on any other app.
This allows the user insights into fixtures which aren’t available elsewhere in other apps. An example is a team that is struggling with their away form, the xG can be viewed for away results only to see if they are underperforming, and a correction in their results is likely to happen.
The app also shows expected goals league tables, by assessing an expected result to each fixture based on the xG scored in each game. This shows which teams have performed consistently above average and can show which teams have their xG boosted by a large, one-off positive game.
This app ticks a lot of the boxes listed above. The app shows expected goals for most of the results listed from all the leagues featured on the app. There is a total of xG given for each game, there are no totals on a shot-by-shot basis or by an individual half. Edge Football Stats provides the full statistics, including xG, of several leagues for free, with a subscription (costing £4.99 / $5.99 per month or £24.99 / $32.99 per year) required to view the remainder.
The app also provides other stats and analysis across betting markets, which is included in the subscription price.
This is a great app, and shows the stats in ways that are not available on any other app on the market.
Infogol is an app which is solely focused on expected goals. It is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store and is free to download. Infogol is owned by the same owners of several key betting operators, including Paddy Power, Betfair and Skybet. This does mean the users are subject to numerous betting sign up offers and ‘enhanced’ odds, which cannot be turned off.
A key feature on Infogol is the detailed maps showing the location of shots taken and their xG. This is shown in a graphical format that provides a level of detail which is unavailable on other apps. This shows how a team generated their total xG, as the generation of a team’s total can be from a small number of good quality attempts, or a high number of long-distance shots.
The xG stats are only shown on Infogol by game or cumulative across a season – there are no options to filter for any set period or period of the user’s choice, or for home or away matches. The league table can be sorted by the amount of xG a team has generated or conceded.
There is some comparison available when assessing a team’s xG against their actual results – the last 6 games can be viewed with the actual score compared to their expected total. This helps to see which teams are under or over performing. There are 21 leagues on the app containing xG stats, other leagues are covered by Infogol without this.
Fotmob is an app that covers football news, fixtures, results, and scores, and is more of an all-round app than the apps listed above. The app is free to download and is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. There are banner adverts on the app, which can be removed for £7.49 per year (USD $9.50), but does not give access to any further features.
Expected goals is not a key part of the app. They are listed in the results of some games, but there are no details showing which leagues have xG stats available. There are no xG stats in any previews of upcoming fixtures, which reduces the usefulness in analysing upcoming games.
One unique stat that the app shows is the xG totals for each half, which are not available in the other apps reviewed, and this gives insights in how the flow of play changed after half time. This can be useful in in-play bets, as you can see how teams improve or regress after half time.
Although xG is not a key part of Fotmob, the details shown are useful and this is a solid app.
VeriTab is an app which includes many stats including xG, across 29 leagues across Europe. This app is only available on the App Store; it is unavailable on Android devices. It costs £0.89 to download (USD $ 0.99), with no further in app subscriptions.
The stats are listed for each game, and xG is one of them. This is listed alongside the average xG prior to the game, which can be useful for comparison in how the team has performed against their results.
Stats are available for head-to-head games, but can be customised to the user’s choice, which increases the difficulty of finding unique insights. The stats are available graphically, but this is not the clearest graph available and difficult to draw solid assumptions from the display.
An xG table is available, which allows the user to see how the table would look if the final score of games matched the expected goals. While this is a useful feature, and similar offerings are available on Edge Football Stats and Infogol, this is only available for the full season, meaning the most recent form cannot be separated and analysed.
Overall, we are surprised at the shortage of apps available that detail and cover expected goals. There are different types of xG apps, with some showing detailed stats, others focusing on analysis, and covering the top global leagues.
We would recommend Edge Football Stats as the best app available for the ability to find insights based on the xG analysis that the app offers. We would also recommend Infogol for the visual shot maps, and Fotmob for a simpler but wider variety of individual xG totals.