The Expected Goals leaders table has been updated after this week’s matches, but I thought I would make specific mention of the weekend that Liam Boyce had. I have sung the praises of the Ross County striker often this season, but even I was left speechless after Boyce knocked in a hat trick this weekend to help lead Ross County to a 5-2 victory over Dundee. Kane Hemmings, who has also been having a good season for Dundee, knocked in two goals of his own but was no match for Boyce. After Saturday’s match, when we look at the xG over Goals chart we see Boyce reaching Adam Rooney levels of overachievement.
However, when we look at Boyce’s xG compared to his shots, we see Boyce being right where he should be based on the amount of shots he takes. Boyce works hard and gets in plenty of shots in good positions and it has led to 12 goals this season, third in the league.
Boyce is averaging 0.34 xG per 90 minutes and 0.70 goals per 90 minutes, showing the ability to be clinical all over the pitch this season. Along with being a clinical finisher this season, the former Cliftonville man has shown bags of skill, no more evident than in his second goal on Saturday where he used an overhead kick to put County up 4-2. Boyce had a total xG of 1.16 on Saturday, which was higher than his opposition Dundee had combined, as well as both Inverness CT and Aberdeen in the 2-2 Willie Collum shit-show that occurred Saturday. As a Celtic supporter, I see Boyce as someone who can have similar success in Ronny Deila’s system as Leigh Griffiths has. With Nadir Ciftci’s ability a controversial topic among Celtic support could Boyce be the depth at striker that Celtic need with Leigh Griffiths hurt at the moment? And more so, if a larger club makes Celtic an offer it can’t refuse for Griffiths, could Boyce be the replacement for Griffiths that could be plugged in right away without losing anything? Or could he even earn himself a bigger move down south, as surely if he keeps his form he will have to be strongly considered for the Northern Ireland squad for the Euros in France this summer.