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Constantly underachieving XG?


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Hello all.

I know this might sound really vague, but my team always under performs its XG, for how many we should score and how many we should concede. I very rarely see this happen in my favor, where I get really lucky and I just don't know if I'm doing something blatantly wrong or if I'm just being quite unlucky at the minute.

I've attached a few screenshots of what I mean.

Apologies if this is not the right place to have posted this thread but it was the only place I could see where it fitted in best.

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The real world interpretation of xG is the odds of the "average league player" scoring given that specific scoring opportunity. It's not the number of goals you "should" score, it's the number of goals the "average" league player will score. Therefore, typically underperforming xG means that there is an issue with the player/s who are supposed to be putting away chances.

Here are some ideas of what could solve it, based on what I've come across in the game this year so far:

1. Recruitment: Out of the players you have, I would expect Calvert-Lewin to be very clinical and over-perform his xG, but Richarlison and Lourenco, at least in my save, do not have amazing shooting attributes compared to the rest of the Prem, so if they are taking a lot of your shots, they could be getting into the right positions and not putting shots away. If you are looking for DCL to play the attacking midfield layer in, you may need more clinical players there who are better finishers than creators.

2. Tactics: Are the types of chances you are creating suited to your players? For example, DCL has great finishing and is awesome in the air, but, at least on my save, is a weak dribbler for the Prem. Are you putting him through one on one against elite goalkeepers? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if he is failing to convert a lot of what are high percentage chances for most strikers. You might want to train him to lob the keeper so he doesn't rely so much on dribbling, or adjust how you counter so that there is a different player you are putting through one on one. Likewise, are you generating shots from crosses for Richarlison, say, who is unlikely to put those away.

Alternatively, is your tactic generating scoring chances for your most clinical player, like DCL, or are you using him to put through less clinical players from the wings (e.g. using DCL as a DLF or TM, and Richarlison et al. as an IF or raumdeuter). You could change some of the roles, so that the wingers are more supportive (like IW(su) or AP etc.), and make DCL more focused on getting shots off (like an advanced forward, or a poacher even). Even worse, do you have Mezzalas or BBMs running into the box and taking shots despite being way worse finishers than your forwards?

3. Dynamics: You're in Europe, so you're playing a lot of hard games. Are your players getting into a funk because they're not scoring a few matches in a row? Are you putting a lot of pressure on them to win and score? Are you rotating enough to avoid them getting jaded? Forwards are very prone to hitting bad form from a run of hard games, so you may need to put an arm around them and praise their training etc., and lower the pressure in team talks to get them to loosen up.

Interested to know how it goes. Keep us posted.

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From the little I can see you are creating a lot of smaller chances that are adding up to a high XG which is clear from the amount of shots your team has every game. Of the two big XG chances you created one was a penalty so it would suggest the quality of chances are a bit poor.

Your front four consistently have poor to average ratings too which would worry me but without seeing the tactics any further advice or thoughts will be minimal.

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You shouldn't pay attention to the final score of xg because that doesn't tell you anything because you could have 30 low quality shots and finish with and xg of 3 and you'd be let to think that you should have scored 3 goals but that isn't the case. You need to look at the diffee in xg from one shot to another so in your first game you didn't create any quality chances to score from, in the second match you created only one good chance and it was a oebalti,  and in the fourth game you created once again only one good chance so in all those games realistically you should have score only one and if you scored more it was sure to the players quality.

My advice would be to have a look at your tactic and look for a way to create 3 decent chances per game or at least 2 then you'll probably score more goals 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Crazy_Ivan said:

From the little I can see you are creating a lot of smaller chances that are adding up to a high XG which is clear from the amount of shots your team has every game. Of the two big XG chances you created one was a penalty so it would suggest the quality of chances are a bit poor.

Your front four consistently have poor to average ratings too which would worry me but without seeing the tactics any further advice or thoughts will be minimal.

Yeah that sounds about right in fairness. A lot of chances that aren't fantastic as opposed to just having a few that are really good.

The lower ratings of the forward players is something I've noticed too.

I'll attach the tactic just so you can have a little look and see what you think.

Screenshot (103).png

Edited by ReadingFan82
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5 hours ago, DarJ said:

You shouldn't pay attention to the final score of xg because that doesn't tell you anything because you could have 30 low quality shots and finish with and xg of 3 and you'd be let to think that you should have scored 3 goals but that isn't the case. You need to look at the diffee in xg from one shot to another so in your first game you didn't create any quality chances to score from, in the second match you created only one good chance and it was a oebalti,  and in the fourth game you created once again only one good chance so in all those games realistically you should have score only one and if you scored more it was sure to the players quality.

My advice would be to have a look at your tactic and look for a way to create 3 decent chances per game or at least 2 then you'll probably score more goals 

I'll have a little look at what I can do to try and make my team create better chances in future.

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13 hours ago, koikingu said:

The real world interpretation of xG is the odds of the "average league player" scoring given that specific scoring opportunity. It's not the number of goals you "should" score, it's the number of goals the "average" league player will score. Therefore, typically underperforming xG means that there is an issue with the player/s who are supposed to be putting away chances.

Here are some ideas of what could solve it, based on what I've come across in the game this year so far:

1. Recruitment: Out of the players you have, I would expect Calvert-Lewin to be very clinical and over-perform his xG, but Richarlison and Lourenco, at least in my save, do not have amazing shooting attributes compared to the rest of the Prem, so if they are taking a lot of your shots, they could be getting into the right positions and not putting shots away. If you are looking for DCL to play the attacking midfield layer in, you may need more clinical players there who are better finishers than creators.

2. Tactics: Are the types of chances you are creating suited to your players? For example, DCL has great finishing and is awesome in the air, but, at least on my save, is a weak dribbler for the Prem. Are you putting him through one on one against elite goalkeepers? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if he is failing to convert a lot of what are high percentage chances for most strikers. You might want to train him to lob the keeper so he doesn't rely so much on dribbling, or adjust how you counter so that there is a different player you are putting through one on one. Likewise, are you generating shots from crosses for Richarlison, say, who is unlikely to put those away.

Alternatively, is your tactic generating scoring chances for your most clinical player, like DCL, or are you using him to put through less clinical players from the wings (e.g. using DCL as a DLF or TM, and Richarlison et al. as an IF or raumdeuter). You could change some of the roles, so that the wingers are more supportive (like IW(su) or AP etc.), and make DCL more focused on getting shots off (like an advanced forward, or a poacher even). Even worse, do you have Mezzalas or BBMs running into the box and taking shots despite being way worse finishers than your forwards?

3. Dynamics: You're in Europe, so you're playing a lot of hard games. Are your players getting into a funk because they're not scoring a few matches in a row? Are you putting a lot of pressure on them to win and score? Are you rotating enough to avoid them getting jaded? Forwards are very prone to hitting bad form from a run of hard games, so you may need to put an arm around them and praise their training etc., and lower the pressure in team talks to get them to loosen up.

Interested to know how it goes. Keep us posted.

1. I'm buying a new shadow striker to try and improve my side, hoping to drop Kubo or Lourenco deeper into the midfield as a DLP. I think Richarlison is decent enough but would be open to improving him at some point in the future. 

2. That point about DCL's dribbling is a good one I haven't thought about before and is definitely something to keep in mind going forward. To be honest I think Richarlison is a pretty decent finisher, he doesn't seem to miss all too many chances that I see myself but definitely something to keep in mind as well.

It seems to create the most for DCL, then the left inside forward who is usually Richarlison and if not Zirkzee and then the shadow striker which is Kubo or Lourenco. The 2 midfielders mainly hold position and the wing backs stay wide to try and create crossing opportunities and the right sided inverted winger is to try and cut inside and create space out wide for the wing back.

3. In the league I'm doing pretty well, but in the UCL, I'm probably going to go out bottom of my group, at the best dropping down to the UEL. In the league, I'm 2nd 14 games in, winning 10, drawing and losing 2 each, so all things considered doing pretty well in that. DCL has been pretty great this season as I've said and the rest of the forwards have done a decent job too, and I've bought a better shadow striker to join in January.

Could there be something to do with the fact that I'm to easy to attack against a better team? Obviously in the UCL I'm likely to be up against better opposition than I am in the league, so them having a half chance would be something to be far more concerned about then having one against the team bottom in the EPL if that makes sense?

I'll attach a screenshot of my tactic so you can have a little look and see what you think, thanks for responding :) 

Screenshot (103).png

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Looking at your forwards, you are virtually putting all eggs in one basket - with the only exception being the IW in AMR. An attacking IF + SS + AF - all 3 are runners looking to attack space and score, none creating that space for the others. 

As for the midfield two, the DLP would make more sense behind the attacking IF on the left, and the more defensive-minded of the two CMs (BWM) on the right. But that's still less of an issue IMHO than the setup of the front 3 I mentioned above.

Plus the combination of gung-ho instructions such as much higher tempo and attacking mentality with the possession-oriented work ball into box - a clear tactical contradiction.

Not to mention the more-aggressive-than-necessary out of possession TIs. 

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To add to what Experiened Defender said, I think "work the ball into the box" might be a big part of the xG underperformance. It encourages your players to delay shooting in the hopes of creating a better scoring position, with the drawback of letting opposition defenders time to crowd the box and press the shooter, making any shot harder. Your attackers don't really seem to include the sort of elite passers who are going to find something in that sort of tight space to make up for that disadvantage, so your forwards are kind of waiting to shoot into a crowd, where they might have been better off taking the earlier opportunity. Are a lot of your shots getting blocked or deflected? Could be that. The rest of your tactic seems to be based around winning the ball back and quickly transitioning forwards to DCL, Richarlison and Lourenco, so making that easier for them could make a big difference. (I actually turned off "work into the box" in my high-possession tiki-taka system because of this, incidentally).

In a similar vein, I think "run at defence" could cause a bit of the same issue. Dribbling is naturally slower than passing, so if your best chances are coming from transitions, I would be asking the players to look to pass as a first option instead. You seem to have so many players running forward that the instruction might create a situation where, say, Dembélé takes on a full back even though he has a 3 on 2 ahead of him.

Quote

The 2 midfielders mainly hold position and the wing backs stay wide to try and create crossing opportunities and the right sided inverted winger is to try and cut inside and create space out wide for the wing back.

How is the crossing working for you? DCL should be great in the air, but I've found that crossing leads to such bad chances in FM21, that get converted so little, that I do everything I can to make my wing-backs recycle the ball instead of attempting them. This could be another source of xG that doesn't get converted into goals.

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I think the main reason for your bad xG to actual goals ratio is the lack of quality chances so that many low quality chances just stack up the xG.

i assume that most goal scoring chances are coming from set pieces (you got a whole lot of corners) and blocked shots / shots from outside the box. 

main reason for that can be you are completely overloading central attack without supporting them reasonable. 

i would start putting either the IF or the AM to AP(S), Switch around your central midfield and make the DLP a CM(s) and add overlap right TI (it will help your IW to be even more supportive and your WB to even more  use wide spaces for overlapping opportunities)

If you struggle remaining defensive solidity, remove counterpress as both wing backs will move high up the pitch 

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Just a slightly different suggestion as roles and duties have been well covered here...

Creating a large number of low quality chances leading to a high xG should still lead to goals. Obviously you want good quality chances but it’s a statistical likelihood of scoring. If you have 10 0.1 xG chances on average you should score one goal from that. Equally if you have 4 0.25 xG chances you should also score one goal. The whole point of xG is that amassing a high volume of poor quality chances is already reflected in the xG, you should be scoring.

My theory is simple here...aside from DCL you guys are terrible in front of goal, and then they’re being asked to play on an extremely high tempo due to the combination of high tempo ti and attacking mentality. They’re likely rushing their chances. Just slow things down, either adjusting mentality or stick the tempo back to normal (will still be high tempo due to mentality anyway). These instructions combined with work ball into box is just a bit odd...you’re asking the team to frantically play patiently. 
 

 

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On 10/01/2021 at 00:41, Experienced Defender said:

Looking at your forwards, you are virtually putting all eggs in one basket - with the only exception being the IW in AMR. An attacking IF + SS + AF - all 3 are runners looking to attack space and score, none creating that space for the others. 

As for the midfield two, the DLP would make more sense behind the attacking IF on the left, and the more defensive-minded of the two CMs (BWM) on the right. But that's still less of an issue IMHO than the setup of the front 3 I mentioned above.

Plus the combination of gung-ho instructions such as much higher tempo and attacking mentality with the possession-oriented work ball into box - a clear tactical contradiction.

Not to mention the more-aggressive-than-necessary out of possession TIs. 

That's a good point about the 3 forwards. Would putting the SS to an AM on support or something like that be a bit more helpful?

I'll just give them a go swapping them around, easy enough I guess.

I kinda thought that having work ball into box would stop my players from just taking shots whenever they felt like it if that makes sense so my players don't waste possession with shots of a low probability of going in but that does make sense. Would turning it off be okay do you think?

Thank you very much for the help mate, always see you kicking about the forums really appreciate it :) 

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On 10/01/2021 at 01:56, koikingu said:

To add to what Experiened Defender said, I think "work the ball into the box" might be a big part of the xG underperformance. It encourages your players to delay shooting in the hopes of creating a better scoring position, with the drawback of letting opposition defenders time to crowd the box and press the shooter, making any shot harder. Your attackers don't really seem to include the sort of elite passers who are going to find something in that sort of tight space to make up for that disadvantage, so your forwards are kind of waiting to shoot into a crowd, where they might have been better off taking the earlier opportunity. Are a lot of your shots getting blocked or deflected? Could be that. The rest of your tactic seems to be based around winning the ball back and quickly transitioning forwards to DCL, Richarlison and Lourenco, so making that easier for them could make a big difference. (I actually turned off "work into the box" in my high-possession tiki-taka system because of this, incidentally).

In a similar vein, I think "run at defence" could cause a bit of the same issue. Dribbling is naturally slower than passing, so if your best chances are coming from transitions, I would be asking the players to look to pass as a first option instead. You seem to have so many players running forward that the instruction might create a situation where, say, Dembélé takes on a full back even though he has a 3 on 2 ahead of him.

How is the crossing working for you? DCL should be great in the air, but I've found that crossing leads to such bad chances in FM21, that get converted so little, that I do everything I can to make my wing-backs recycle the ball instead of attempting them. This could be another source of xG that doesn't get converted into goals.

What you've said about the work ball into box instruction makes complete sense in fairness. The only reason I had it on was to try and stop my players from taking shots from miles out that probably wouldn't go in but I assume I'd be okay to just turn this instruction off for now. I did buy a new SS who's a regen who cost me £75 million who has some pretty decent stats all round but particularly in the passing area so he could be a bit of a help in the lack of elite passers department.

I put run at defense on just because I have players with decent dribbling so I was trying to utilize that but if you think it may be a bit of a hindrance I can always get rid off it. If I was to get rid of it should I leave it blank or put dribble less on?

To be honest I've found crossing to okay so far on this game but as you say DCL is pretty great in the air so tends to do pretty well in airiel situations. My full backs are pretty handy crossers as well so can't really apply this to a team with lesser players or something like that but it works well enough for me.

Thanks for the response and the suggestions

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13 hours ago, CARRERA said:

I think the main reason for your bad xG to actual goals ratio is the lack of quality chances so that many low quality chances just stack up the xG.

i assume that most goal scoring chances are coming from set pieces (you got a whole lot of corners) and blocked shots / shots from outside the box. 

main reason for that can be you are completely overloading central attack without supporting them reasonable. 

i would start putting either the IF or the AM to AP(S), Switch around your central midfield and make the DLP a CM(s) and add overlap right TI (it will help your IW to be even more supportive and your WB to even more  use wide spaces for overlapping opportunities)

If you struggle remaining defensive solidity, remove counterpress as both wing backs will move high up the pitch 

That's fair enough, apart from penalties I do tend to have loads of little increases on the graph and lots of them which isn't as good as having just a handful of higher quality chances. 

I do score a fair few goals from set pieces, corners especially. DCL, Zirkzee and pretty much all my center backs are pretty decent in the air so I'm quite good in that department.

The overlap right is something I have been thinking about myself so I'll whack that on.

In terms of defensive solidity I don't notice that I'm too bad in that department, I mainly just get done on the counter a bit which turning off counter press could be quite helpful for as you said. I just seem to concede goals from low XG chances if that makes sense which annoys me but it is what it is.

Thanks for all the suggestions I'll give them a go

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11 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

Just a slightly different suggestion as roles and duties have been well covered here...

Creating a large number of low quality chances leading to a high xG should still lead to goals. Obviously you want good quality chances but it’s a statistical likelihood of scoring. If you have 10 0.1 xG chances on average you should score one goal from that. Equally if you have 4 0.25 xG chances you should also score one goal. The whole point of xG is that amassing a high volume of poor quality chances is already reflected in the xG, you should be scoring.

My theory is simple here...aside from DCL you guys are terrible in front of goal, and then they’re being asked to play on an extremely high tempo due to the combination of high tempo ti and attacking mentality. They’re likely rushing their chances. Just slow things down, either adjusting mentality or stick the tempo back to normal (will still be high tempo due to mentality anyway). These instructions combined with work ball into box is just a bit odd...you’re asking the team to frantically play patiently. 
 

 

I mean that is an interesting observation, but not quite sure I agree with it. DCL is good as you said, but I wouldn't say the rest are terrible. Zirkzee and Richarlison are pretty good, Orsolini and Dembele and fantastic should be okay. I'll give lowering the tempo ago if you think it'll help my team be a bit less frantic as you said.

Thanks for the suggestion

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2 hours ago, ReadingFan82 said:

Would putting the SS to an AM on support or something like that be a bit more helpful?

Can help, although I would be also concerned about the combination of AF and IF on attack duty. In that respect, I would either change the AF into a deeper creator role (CF or DLF or TQ) or IF into IW. Both changes pertain to roles only, not duties. 

 

2 hours ago, ReadingFan82 said:

I kinda thought that having work ball into box would stop my players from just taking shots whenever they felt like it if that makes sense so my players don't waste possession with shots of a low probability of going in but that does make sense

Instructions are effective only if they are compatible with the rest of a tactic. They do not act like a magic bullet. 

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2 hours ago, ReadingFan82 said:

I mean that is an interesting observation, but not quite sure I agree with it. DCL is good as you said, but I wouldn't say the rest are terrible. Zirkzee and Richarlison are pretty good, Orsolini and Dembele and fantastic should be okay. I'll give lowering the tempo ago if you think it'll help my team be a bit less frantic as you said.

Thanks for the suggestion

Sorry I meant more that they are bad in front of goal in your particular save/situation. Obviously they’re not bad players. If you’re underperforming xG someone or everyone is doing badly in front of goal :) Have you looked at the xG stats player to player? Might show if it’s just a few people or the whole side being wasteful.

Id put good money on the tempo issues contributing significantly to the wasted chances (obviously any role issues will play a big part too but I won’t go into that as others already are). From my experience high tempo + high mentality = wasteful

 

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6 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Can help, although I would be also concerned about the combination of AF and IF on attack duty. In that respect, I would either change the AF into a deeper creator role (CF or DLF or TQ) or IF into IW. Both changes pertain to roles only, not duties. 

 

Instructions are effective only if they are compatible with the rest of a tactic. They do not act like a magic bullet. 

Would changing the AF to a CF on attack be helpful or would it have to be on support to be effective in the way you talk of?

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6 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

Sorry I meant more that they are bad in front of goal in your particular save/situation. Obviously they’re not bad players. If you’re underperforming xG someone or everyone is doing badly in front of goal :) Have you looked at the xG stats player to player? Might show if it’s just a few people or the whole side being wasteful.

Id put good money on the tempo issues contributing significantly to the wasted chances (obviously any role issues will play a big part too but I won’t go into that as others already are). From my experience high tempo + high mentality = wasteful

 

Yeah that's fair enough. You know what I hadn't checked individual players xG but I will know you've suggested that. If its just one player who's under performing in that area I'd be good to just replace him but if its numerous I probably need a bit more of a rejig of my tactic.

I'll try whacking the tempo down a bit as well to see if that helps me a bit as well.

 

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