The surprising Portsmouth goalscoring statistic from expected goals experts which hands Danny Cowley conundrum ahead of next season

Pompey’s goalscoring woes have often been credited with the derailment of their play-off hopes this term.

By Sam Cox
Friday, 25th March 2022, 2:00 pm

Danny Cowley's side's total of 53 goals scored is, in fact, the lowest figure across League One’s top 10.

Despite their deficiencies in the final third returning in recent weeks, though, the Blues are currently outperforming their expected goals (xG) statistics.

xG is the quality measurement of chance creation and efficiency in front of goal.

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And according to’s statistics, Pompey are actually surpassing their tally by 2.5 goals – meaning they should have netted 50.5 times this term.

This may come as a surprise to the Fratton faithful following the club’s recent form.

Across recent crucial matches against Ipswich, Plymouth and Wycombe, the Blues registered just two shots on target during 270 minutes of football – without scoring.

As a result, the collective two points from a possible nine has dented play-off hopes, as Cowley’s side sit eight points outside the top six.

Pompey are currently outperforming their xG. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, it was evident that Pompey possessed high quality in the attacking third in the seven matches that preceded their trio of shutouts.

The Blues scored 21 goals across the run of matches which had them eyeing a last-minute promotion push.

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For Cowley, it was justification for tinkering with his frontline in order to discover goals.

The Fratton Park chief has used different combinations on the field, while reshaping the department in January.

And that raises an important conundrum for the 43-year-old, as he eyes a firmer push for the Championship next year, if this campaign’s outside-chance doesn’t come to fruition.

Does he stick and pursue their permanent signings? Or twist, and shake up his attacking options once again?

Pompey’s over-scoring in accordance with xG may also show the trouble isn’t with chance conversion.

Instead, the problem could actually be the creation of opportunities from midfield or other attacking areas.

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