Chances Created vs Key Pass

Chances Created And Key Passes – What You Need To Know

Last updated on February 28th, 2022

You may heard of the terms ‘key pass’ and ‘chance created’ when looking through certain football statistic sites.

Since they sound so similar, do they mean the same thing?

The difference between key passes and chances created

A key pass is the final pass by a teammate which leads to a goal attempt that does not result in a goal. Meanwhile, chances created includes both key passes and assists, which is a touch from a teammate which leads to a goal being scored.

Here’s what you need to know about each statistic:

What is a key pass in football?

A key pass is a pass by a player that allows his teammate to have an attempt on goal. However, his teammate failed to score. As such, a key pass is awarded to the player, instead of an assist.

Here is the official definition by Opta:

The final pass or pass-cum-shot leading to the recipient of the ball having an attempt at goal without scoring.


This means that you will create a great goal-scoring opportunity for your teammate. However, he may fail to score a goal!

As such, you cannot be awarded an assist!

This is because an assist is only awarded if your touch leads to a goal being scored.

Instead of an assist, you will be awarded with a key pass instead.

Key passes were meant to give recognition to creative players

The main way that creative players are rated are based on their assists. The more assists a player has, he is deemed to be more creative.

However, this may not be the case!

A playmaker may be creating a lot of great opportunities for his team to score. However, his teammates just have poor finishing.

No goals are scored as a result, and so the player does not get any assists!

In this way, key passes help to provide recognition for these players. Even though his teammate does not score the goal, he is still awarded with a key pass!

In other words, key passes also help to show how creative a player is, even if his teammates do not score!

What is a chance created in football?

Chances created are a combination of a player’s key passes and assists. As such, this statistic considers all touches that a player has made to create goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates, regardless of whether a goal is scored or not.

Here is the official definition of a chance created by Opta:

Assists plus Key passes.

This means that both key passes and assists are included in this statistic. It does not matter whether your teammate scores the goal or not from your pass.

Either way, your pass will still be considered in this stat!

You can see from this tweet by Squawka, which shows the chances created by Ross Barkley.

Here, you can see that Barkley has 5 shot assists and 1 goal assist. This comes out to the 6 chances he created during the match.

How to find chances created in sports statistic sites

The best way you can find out the chances created statistic is via Squawka’s Comparison Matrix.

From there, you are able to find the number of chances each player has created!

You’ll need to select ‘Chances Created‘ from the ‘Pass’ tab.

Squawka Chances Created Select
Source: Squawka

After that, you’ll be able to see this statistic on the player’s comparison card!

Squawka Player Comparison Matrix
Source: Squawka

Chances created can be a better way to rank creative players

This statistic considers all possible scenarios when a player creates a goal-scoring opportunity for his teammate. As such, this could be the fairest statistic to show how creative a player is!

For example, Jack Grealish only had 5 assists in the Premier League 2019/20 season. If you just looked at this statistic, he was only 28th in the Premier League!

However, when you consider his key passes too, he has the second highest number of chances created!

This could suggest that his Aston Villa teammates could not finish the opportunities that he created.

If you do not use chances created, you may not be able to determine just how creative that player can be!

What is a big chance in football?

A big chance occurs when a player is expected to score from a clear cut opportunity. This includes penalties, one on one situations, or chances where the striker has little pressure.

Another football term you may come across are big chances. Here is the official definition by Opta:

A situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score, usually in a one on one scenario or from very close range when the ball has a clear path to goal and there is low to moderate pressure on the shooter. Penalties are always considered big chances.


Big chances are situations where the attacker is expected to score. This usually occurs when he is one on one with the keeper.

Another situation is during a penalty kick. No other player except the goalkeeper and the penalty taker are in the penalty area.

Moreover, there is a high chance that the goalkeeper may dive the wrong way too!

In these situations, it can be pretty stressful for the striker too. Even though the big chance may be easy to score, some of them may fumble the chance!

What is a big chance created in football?

A big chance created occurs when you create a big chance opportunity for your teammate to score. Your teammate is expected to score from this opportunity, as these are usually one on one situations or shots from a very close range.

This statistic is mainly used in the Premier League when comparing between playmakers.

In the Fantasy Premier League, a player is awarded 3 bonus points if they create a big chance for their teammate!

Besides the Premier League, not many other leagues use this statistic.


The creative ability of a player is normally judged by the number of assists that they make.

However, an assist is dependent on their teammate being able to score the goal! This is why key passes were created to ensure situations where your teammate didn’t score are counted too.

As such, chances created may be the best way to determine how creative a player is. This is because all opportunities created are considered, irregardless of whether a player scores a goal or not!

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