Firmino, Jota and Abraham: The worst finishers in the Premier League based on xG

Roberto Firmino

The Premier League has witnessed goals galore this season.

Everywhere you turn, the net is being rippled and it feels like that if you blink, you’ll miss a goal going in.

In late October, the average goals-per-game ratio stood at 3.58, an enormous tally that suggested records were going to be broken this season. 

It was considerably higher than the Premier League record of 2.82 goals-per-game, a mark set in the 2018-19 campaign. It’s likely that’ll continue too.

Because of COVID-19, there was a very minimal break for players to rest and recover, meaning that the new season almost carried on immediately after the last one finished.

Defences grow tired quicker and thus, teams are being breached on a regular basis. 

For the neutral, this has been a magnificent campaign but for managers, it has been a huge headache. 

Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham

However, since the start of last season, there have been some woeful finishers in the Premier League. They all know where the back of the net is, but when it comes to xG, they are considerably underperforming.

Of course, their records this term could improve, but we went and looked back at the very worst finishers in the top-flight since the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

Courtesy of Understat, here are the numbers and players involved… 

10. Tammy Abraham +3.08

Now, don’t get us wrong, Abraham is an excellent young player. He scored 15 times in the league last season but the fact of the matter is, he still misses some pretty straightforward chances. In terms of his expected goals, he should have found the net on around three more occasions. 

Tammy Abraham

9. Chris Wood +3.23

The Burnley striker enjoyed his best Premier League campaign last term so we can’t slate him too much. He racked up 14 goals in 2019/20 which is a very handy tally, one that took the Clarets to a tenth-placed finish. As Wood’s expected goals suggest, though, he could score a few more.

8. Michail Antonio +3.25

Antonio has been in excellent form this season, scoring three goals in six outings, but his xG since the start of last term leaves something to be desired. The West Ham forward scored ten times but four of those came in one game against Norwich.

Michail Antonio

7. Neal Maupay +3.56

Maupay is another to start the new Premier League season in good form, but he is a pretty wasteful finisher. He beat the goalkeeper on ten occasions in 37 matches last term but he should have ended the campaign with close to 14 strikes instead. 

6. Miguel Almiron +3.76

The Paraguayan arrived at Newcastle off the back of scoring 13 goals for Atlanta United in MLS. However, since coming to English football he has struggled to score, netting just four Premier League goals in one and a half years. He should have finished last season on around seven goals instead. Clearly, there is plenty of room for improvement. 

Miguel Almiron

5. Joelinton +4.03

The Brazilian striker had a disastrous first season at Newcastle after signing for £40m – a club-record fee. He netted just twice but should have finished the campaign with six strikes. Either way, those are terrible numbers for someone who cost Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley so much. 

4. Diogo Jota +5.02

This is a very interesting one. Jota has begun life at Liverpool like a house on fire, scoring seven goals in ten outings. However, since the beginning of last season, he is actually one of the Premier League’s worst finishers. The Portuguese scored seven times in 2019/20, but according to xG, should have finished the season on 12 goals with Wolves. The rate he’s going this term, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he bettered that considerably. 

Diogo Jota

3. David McGoldrick +6.72

The Sheffield United striker is a handful to deal with in physical situations but when he gets the ball in front of goal, he often leaves a lot to be desired. McGoldrick found the back of the net on just two occasions last term, a tally that should have been around eight if you believe the expected goals metric. Considering this, it’s remarkable to think the Blades did so well. 

2. Gabriel Jesus +7.02

Here’s a controversial one for you. Jesus is a fabulous talent and serves Manchester City brilliantly when Sergio Aguero is out of the team. However, his expected goals is a horrendous sight and leads to all sorts of questions being asked. Last term, the Brazilian scored 14 goals so he certainly didn’t have a bad year but his xG was at a figure of 21.02. If Man City ever want Jesus to be their Aguero successor, they’ll need him to score more consistently. 

Gabriel Jesus

1. Roberto Firmino +7.69

Firmino has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this season. He offers plenty from a creative point of view but after the signing of Jota at Liverpool, he’s very quickly been usurped in terms of goals. The striker did find the net nine times in 2019/20 but according to xG, that tally should have been much higher – around the 16 mark. 

Roberto Firmino

If ever you needed an indication that the Brazilian should be scoring more, this is it. He simply doesn’t get himself in the right positions to find the back of the net regularly. 

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