Champions league xG stats guide: The top five performing teams

Our Champions League xG stats guide below weighs up the best-performing teams in the competition this season, from an xG point of view. 

The Champions League is set to return next week with 16 clubs across Europe still fighting it out to become crowned champions. While all 16 teams will fancy their chances, there are five or six teams who are seen as the frontrunners thanks to impressive performances in the group stages of the competition.

One of the best metrics to judge team performance is xG. This statistic effectively determines the quality of the chances a team creates or in other words, the probability of a shot resulting in a goal. To determine this, xG models consider variables such as where a shot is taken from and how the chance came about.

Let's take a look at which teams have been consistently creating the best chances in the Champions League so far this season.

Champions league xG stats
Have Manchester City been the top chance creators in the Champions League this season? – Photo by Icon sport

Champions League xG stats guide: Top five teams

5) Arsenal – 10.7

Arsenal have enjoyed their return to the Champions League this season and finished top of Group B. Over six games, they have accumulated an xG of 10.7 which is on average 1.78 per game. Averaging close to two expected goals per game is impressive, particularly when you consider Arteta played a second-string team in their final match against Feyenoord as qualification was already secured.

In addition to their impressive xG of 10.7, Arsenal only conceded an xG of 3.8 over the course of their six group games. If they can maintain this defensive form then they will be a problem for anyone in the knockout stages.

TIP –  5/6 – Arsenal to score 2+ goals against Porto in their round of 16 first-leg

4) Inter Milan – 12.3

Last season's finalists, Inter Milan, have played like they are desperate for another crack at glory in the Champions League so far this season. Lautaro Martínez has been electric for Inter all season and has played a huge part in their accumulation of 12.3 xG.

Despite finishing second in their group, Inter Milan accumulated four more expected goals than Real Sociedad, the Group D winners. Inter will face Atletico Madrid in the round of 16, a side notorious for being good at preventing chances, in what looks to be one of the most fascinating ties on paper.

TIP – 1/1 – Inter Milan to score over 1.5 goals against Atletico Madrid in their round of 16 first-leg

3) PSG – 13.4

Despite only qualifying for the knockout stages by the skin of their teeth, PSG quietly performed well in an attacking sense in what was known as the Group of Death. To accumulate 13.4 expected goals in six matches against Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle and AC Milan is seriously impressive and should give the Parisians some confidence going into the round of 16.

Kylian Mbappe has been PSG's starman once again and he has accumulated 4.4 xG alone. If he can start improving his conversion rate, then PSG can be a dangerous team in the knockout stages.

TIP – Kylian Mbappe to score anytime against Real Sociedad

kylian mbappe
As long as Kylian Mbappe i on the pitch, PSG will always have a chance – Photo by Icon sport

2) Real Madrid – 15.0

Real Madrid are usually there or thereabouts in terms of Champions League contenders and this season is no different. Los Blancos have been excellent going forward this season with Carlo Ancelotti adopting a midfield diamond and a front two to maximise the abilities of the likes of Jude Bellingham, Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr.

Real Madrid have won six games out of six in the competition so far, albeit in a weak group, and will be looking forward to their round-of-16 tie with RB Leipzig.

TIP – Jude Bellingham to have 2+ shots on target

1) Manchester City – 17.0

Manchester City are the reigning European Champions and are the favourites to win it again this season. Like Real Madrid, the Blues won six games out of six in the group stages but an xG of 17.0 – close to three expected goals per match – is still formidable even by their high standards.

Erling Haaland is also the frontrunner in terms of individual xG (5.4) and non-penalty xG (3.8) and that was without the help of Kevin de Bruyne. With the Belgian now fit again, City's chance creation stats are likely to only improve – a scary proposition for the rest of the teams left in the tournament.

TIP – Erling Haaland to score a hat-trick against FC Copenhagen


Avatar of Andy Delaney
Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance Sports Journalist with ten years of experience covering football in the United Kingdom and abroad for various publications including the Manchester Evening News, UtdReport and Football Whispers. Andy also has a keen interest in basketball, cricket, golf and tennis and has covered major sporting events such as the Masters in Augusta.