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xGunners: Boreham Wood 0, Arsenal 8

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STATS!!! from the first friendly against Boreham Wood

The pre-season has kicked into high gear, with actual friendlies now taking place. This particular match took place at the same time as the World Cup third place match, but based on my twitter timeline this was by far the better match to be watching.

With these pre-season matches there aren’t the normal stats resources, so for this particular match I used an xy plotting tool to go back, re-watch the match and do my best to plot where each shot was taken.

It isn’t going to be perfect by any means, and this exercise always gives me more respect for the people that do this in near real time for not just shots but every on ball action that place during a match.

Running xG:

The times are not going to be 100% accurate, as I wasn’t super diligent in marking down exactly when they happened. Don’t forget it’s pre-season for stats collecting too!

Arsenal jumped out early with their best chances, before adding on with some well finished shots that weren’t the highest xG chances.

xG Plot:

Boreham Wood had a pretty good shot cluster in this match. They weren’t the highest xG chances, though, as most of these were headers from crosses. Also there were still a bit too many shaky defensive moments for my taste. Arsenal will need to tighten that up.

Simulated Match Result

SoT xG Plot

I’ll be doing something new this year: For each game I’ll create a plot of the shots on target with the SoT xG model. I like using this for single games, as this seems to really help illustrate outcomes better in a small sample.

Next up: Atletico Madrid on Thursday.