Foxpunter: The lowdown on 'underrated' Doncaster Rovers' impressive xG stats

Foxpunter analyst Mike Holden has the xG stats to show that Doncaster Rovers are arguably ‘the most underestimated team in League One’ at present.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 9:02 pm
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 9:33 pm
Doncaster Rovers have started the season in encouraging fashion.

‘Expected goals’ (xG) is a metric which assesses every chance in a game, assigning a probability of how likely it is to score from that position (based on historical stats).

For example if a chance is 0.5xG, it should be scored 50 per cent of the time.

Stats courtesy of Foxpunter ratings service highlight that Rovers currently have the best xG ratio over the last eight matches in League One and the best defensive xG from open play in the division (0.36).

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Interestingly, they also currently have the best attacking xG from counter attacks (0.29) followed by Peterborough (0.26) and Ipswich (0.26).

But they do not fare so well when it comes to set pieces.

Rovers’ average xG from defensive set pieces is 0.42 and only AFC Wimbledon’s is higher.

Rovers’ average xG from attacking set pieces is 0.20, joint lowest with Coventry and Portsmouth.

Previewing this weekend’s trip to Oxford United, Holden said: “Doncaster are probably the most underestimated team in League One right now. In the last few matches they’ve dominated against very good teams at this level.

“They were beaten by Portsmouth last weekend but dominated the xG in that game, dominated the xG in the home game with Rotherham and they also beat Peterborough recently.

“Over the last eight matches they’ve got the best xG ratio in the division.

“Doncaster have gone under the radar because they’ve not necessarily got the results but defensively they’re very good.

“In terms of defensive xG in open play they are by some distance the best team in the division on the evidence to date.

“That’s great credit to Darren Moore because he came in when pre-season had started and he didn’t have a lot of time to prepare this team and set it up and he didn’t get his assistant in until about ten days before the start of the season.

“I just think they are very under the radar, underrated side.

“I see Doncaster and Oxford as two teams that are just outside the top six in terms of the standards that they are setting but certainly have the potential to trouble that top six.”

Rovers went down 2-1 to Portsmouth last weekend. Rovers’ xG was 1.79 compared to Pompey’s 0.73.