Making xG easy for FM20

I’ve written at length about expected goals (xG), expected assists, xG against and even received pass impact for Dictate the Game. I’ve also covered it here and on YouTube. xG and other metrics aren’t in the base game but can be really useful when trying to assess tactics or players. They can be pretty painful to work out though.

You can do all this yourself if you wish. You can even go as far as creating your own data set to work out the xG values for different areas of the pitch in FM20. Or you could use the real-world stats instead though I don’t recommend it.

xG from Understat
Some real world xG values compared to goals from Understat

Then you can eyeball the shots, or passes, or received passes depending on what you are interested in on the pitch using the analysis tab in the game. And from there you can add it all up to get your team xG or individual player values.

But you don’t have to put all that effort in…

My xG spreadsheet

You can always just trust me. I’ve made a basic spreadsheet to share that has a very basic looking mockup of half the pitch. It is divided into several zones and all you have to do on sheet 1 is enter how many shots have happened in that area.

xG auto table
My beautiful mock up of the pitch. Just enter the number of shots, passes,or received passes in each zone et voila

If you’re more interested in xA or received passes then you just count the number of passes in that zone. Or the number of passes received in that zone. The spreadsheet will then work it out for you. If there’s a zone where nothing has happened then just leave it blank.

It is as simple as counting them up and entering them into the spreadsheet cells. For the whole team, or by individual players.

If you want to double check sheet 2 has the zones and zone values for you to check.

xG values by Zone

I won’t go into too much detail about xG as that is for another article or my original DTG post. But you can see from sheet 2 that shots near the halfway line or well out wide (zones 8 and 7) have around 5%-6% of resulting in a goal. Whereas those just in front of goal (zones 1 and 3) have between 15-36% chance of going in.

Then in the very final sheet, if you are feeling up to it you can break down the xG, xA, and Received Passes by player.

xG xA RP
I was looking at my 4 strikers in my Belfast save to work out who to hand their P45 to

I also included the number of passes and number of times they have received a pass so I can break down the xA and RP values per event. If I included shots I could also do the same. As it is though there’s enough there to assess your players. I’ve include goals and assists so you can compare their actual output against their xA and xG values.

xG xA expected
Poor Devlin…he’s not going to make the cut based on xA and xG

At the glance, and without bothering with attributes, I can see that Bonis and Ward are good for me in terms of xG, dangerous positions (RP) and xA. And that this is bourne out with them being better in terms of goal and assist output.

I’ve also added a bonus. The RP to xG loss. Basically RP (received passes) measures the quality of the position the player finds themselves in (assuming they then shot from there). But players cock things up. Or they get tackled. Or they might dribble into a better position, or dribble and lose it. Which means when they finally do get a shot off the value might be better or worse, or just not be there at all (if not shot happened). So I’ve worked out simply what percentage of xG or goal threat has been lost from the position to the final shots taken.

Again bad news for Devlin in the example about. He has an 80% drop. Or put another way 4 times out of 5 he fluffs it. Whether that’s a bad decision, being tackles or moving somewhere worse. All the strikers have lost some of their goal threat which is normal for most players, but Devlin is by far the worst.


Like all good clickbait I’ve put the link you’re interested in at the bottom.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on. Check out my other articles for more about stats in FM20 and Football Manager in general. And remember, these models I’m using aren’t perfect. But they exist and that’s enough to give you an edge.