The Expected Goals model, used by the industry to measure the probability of a shot ending up as a goal, can indicate the clarity of chances, shot selection and the effectiveness of forwards. But as with all analysis, the more variables that intersect and add up, the more complete and accurate the analysis will be. Within the forward metrics, shooting percentage adds another layer of rigor to the probability model.
With ‘Finishing‘ or goal conversion ratio we measure the percentage of shots that end in a goal. This metric has to be checked against the xG model and other variables to see what positions he shoots from, whether or not he abuses shooting from outside the box or from very low positions, or if he just shoots very often, to see how good the ratio is or not. However, a high conversion rate will give us information, especially if it is sustained over time, about how accurate and effective the forward is. Here is a table of the top ten forwards in the big five leagues, with Choupo Moting as the outstanding leader and the rate of other current top forwards and their position on the list.
Also interesting to look at is the ‘Shooting‘ out of the total, a way to also measure the frequency with which a forward generates Expected Goals on Goal, a model we’ll talk about soon. These are perhaps two of the most important statistics for a forward. If for a midfielder it is crucial not to lose the ball or to deliver it accurately mixing precision and risk, for a center forward to send the ball between the posts and, consequently, into the net, is his real task in the game. Despite finishing his contract and not renewing his contract with Liverpool, Firmino is particularly fine in the percentage of shots on target out of the total, leading the table.
We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 200,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.