Who's the player in K League 1 this year who the highest expected goals value? Data shows that it's Jeju United striker Joo Min-kyu.
Joo Min-kyu had an xG of 14.76 this season from 94 shots - excluding penalties - with 17 goals scored, joint with eventual golden boot winner Cho Gue-sung. And, excluding penalties, Joo managed to score 14 from open play.
Using the same criteria, behind Joo were Ulsan Hyundai's Leonardo with 11.38, Valeri Qazaishvili with 10.69, Lars Veldwijk of Suwon FC with 10.63, and Stanislav Iljutcenko of FC Seoul (and Jeonbuk) with 10.63 to make up the top five.
By team, Ulsan Hyundai's xG was at 56.11 followed by Jeonbuk at 53.78, Jeju United at 51.99, Daegu FC at 51.64, and Pohang Steelers at 50.37.
xG takes into account a number of variables including distance from the goal and the position of the player taking the shot. K League's official data partner Bepro used AI based on the data of 100,000 shots to create xG values.
▲ Goals vs xG analysis: Modou Barrow's explosion of goals
One player with a standout xG versus actual goals scored tally is Jeonbuk's Modou Barrow. The Gambia international has an xG value of 7.55 but actually scored 13 in 2022, 1.72 times more to record the largest discrepancy in the division.
The goals began to flow for Barrow after the summer. Of the 13 he scored this year, nine came after August, including in five matches in a row helping to keep Jeonbuk in the title race.
In terms of teams, another xG that stands out is that of Suwon FC. Their xG from non-penalty goals versus actual goals value is 1.31 times at 40.47 with 56 goals scored. While manager Kim Do-kyun has out-and-out strikers like Lars Veldwijk and Kim Hyun at his disposal, he also has players such as Lee Seung-woo and Jeong Jae-yong who are capable of scoring wondergoals out of nothing. Players like Lee and Jeong tend to score from areas of the pitch where the xG value is low. Gangwon FC, too, had a good record of over-performing their xG with 1.16 times.
▲ xG per 90 minutes analysis
Joo Min-kyu also had the best xG per 90 minutes in K League 1 this season. Joo racked up 2,609 minutes from 37 appearances overall and played, on average, for 70 minutes per match. His goals per 90 minutes was 0.51 putting him top of the division and ahead of Seongnam's Fejsal Mulić and Pohang's Heo Yong-jun who were joint second with 0.50 goals per 90.
▲ Who scored the most difficult goal in 2022?
There are many players who scored what would be seen as 'difficult' goals, those that were from far out or acute angles. That honour goals to Gangwon FC's Galego for his strike against Daegu FC in Round 24 when he picked up the ball in midfield on the left-hand side before letting rip with a long-ranger. The xG value for that particular goal was 0.020.
Kim Hyun of Suwon FC scored the winner in the Suwon Derby against the Bluewings in Round 27. He scored from the left-hand side of the penalty box to the right corner of the goal. The xG was 0.021.
For the Bluewings, Lee Ji-je's Round 13 strike against Gimcheon from around 32 yards out had an xG value of 0.023.