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Ligue 20/21: Comparing the xG and xGA of every team

Lille were crowned champions of France for the first time since 2011. Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain failed to win the league for the second time in the last five seasons. Monaco and Lyon finished third and fourth respectively.

The below visualisation shows the Expected Goals (xG and xGA) performance of all the 20 teams from Ligue 1. Note that the teams are arranged from bottom to top in alphabetical order.

First of all, the visual shows that Lille were the best defensive team in the league in terms of expected goals against (xGA) with the champions’ tally at 29.68 xGA. In fact, they conceded only 23 goals throughout the season. However, Lille were not big scorers, with an expected goals (xG) tally of 51.2. Only nine other teams had a worse record than them for xG.

Paris Saint-Germain were the second best in the league for xG with their expected goals for the season at 82.12. Not just that, they were also the third-best team for xGA. Monaco, like PSG, were top three for xG and xGA.  Lyon finished the league in fourth place and also as the team with the best xG in the league and only five other teams had a better xGA record than Lyon. 

The biggest surprise for xG comes in the form of 15th placed Strasbourg and 17th placed Brest. Both those teams had a better xG record than Lille, Nice, Marseille and Rennes. However, Brest’s defensive record was very poor as indicated by their xGA value. In fact, only three other teams had a worse xGA than Brest. No surprises when it comes to Nîmes and Dijon, relegated from Ligue 1, given their poor offensive and defensive record.

Some notable mentions include Rennes who were fourth best for xGA, Marseille who were fifth best for xGA, and both Lens and Montpellier who were fifth and sixth best respectively for xG.