Erling Haaland has done what Erling Haaland does and yet many seem surprised by his goalscoring feats at Man City. His stats at every single club he has played for have been phenomenal and he is only likely to get better given he won’t turn 23 until July. Moreover, he has never played at a club as strong as Man City, a side that creates so many chances and dominates almost every game they play.
With the 2022/23 season yet to reach its halfway point, the young Norwegian has already smashed several records but just how many Premier League goals might he score this campaign? Well, let’s take a look at his stats so far:
- Appearances – 16
- Goals – 21
- Expected goals – 15.81
- Goals per game – 1.31
- Percentage of City’s PL games played – 94%
- Hit woodwork – 2
- Big chances missed – 12
- Discipline – 3 yellow cards, 0 red cards
Goals Per Game Forecast
On one level we might predict that Haaland will score 50 goals this season. If we multiply the 38-game season by his current average of 1.31 we get a total of 49.78. However, he has already missed one game for City and it would be reasonable to expect him to miss more during the second half of the campaign.
He does not tend to get suspended but has suffered from injuries in past seasons, playing an average of just 26 league games in his last two seasons with Borussia Dortmund. In addition, as City press for glory on four fronts this season, it is likely he will be rested at some stage. If we are generous and assume he avoids injury for the most part we might forecast that he plays 34 Premier League matches.
Using that figure of 34 and his current strike rate gives us a total of 44.54, so perhaps 45 goals is a better prediction. That is certainly plausible, with many pundits and experts believing he will reach at least 40. The bookies make him a red-hot favourite to be the leading scorer in the Premier League – he has a six-goal advantage over Harry Kane at the time of writing. However, according to the odds he has only around a 30-40% chance of reaching 40 goas, let alone 45.
PL Golden Boot History
Haaland’s 21-goal haul would be enough to win (including ties) the Premier League Golden Boot in six seasons of the competition’s history. The most goals scored in a single season is 34, achieved by Andy Cole in 1993/94 and Alan Shearer in the following campaign. Both of those were 42-game seasons though and the record since the reduction to 20 teams is 32 (Mo Salah in 2017/18). Indeed, players have only reached 30+ goals seven times in a 38-match campaign. Clearly, then, history is against Haaland reaching 40.
Haaland will score …
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Whilst the Norwegian brute’s tally of 12 big chances missed may suggest he could actually score a lot more goals, a closer analysis of his expected goals (xG) suggests the opposite. Only Liverpool’s misfiring Darwin Nunez has missed more big chances than Haaland but the former Dortmund man is hugely outperforming his xG. Over his career, he has always done that but this term at City he is even outperforming his historic overperformance!
If we ignore his earlier campaigns in Norway and Austria – which were not truly at the highest level, and also came when he was very, very young – we can see that he has always made more of his chances than the algorithms would have predicted.
Having analysed all the factors we believe that Erling Haaland will score 39 Premier League goals this season. We feel he may not quite hit the magical 40 due to the likelihood of him playing fewer than the maximum of 37 games (he has already missed one) and also because of a drop-off in his performance against xG to bring him closer to his norm.
That said, if City really hit their stride in the title run-in, which they might have to in order to hunt (to quote Haaland) Arsenal, they could start scoring even more freely. And if they do, a haul of 45 or more goals could certainly be within reach for the incredible striker.