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Saturday, November 27, 2021

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Damning stats say Manchester United are lucky to be sixth under Solskjaer

As Manchester United’s players spread across the world for international campaigns for their respective countries, they leave their club side sitting uncomfortably in sixth, after a spell of one win in six in the Premier League.

Defeats to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City have left an unsavoury taste for many at Old Trafford right now, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer facing pressure surrounding his role as manager.

While the Norwegian remains defiant that he can turn the slump around, the Premier League table doesn’t lie and an expected goals table has painted a sorry tale that makes for even grimmer reading for United.

Experimental361 compiled a table based on the current English top-flight and showed how the standings would look going into the final international break of the calendar had each of the 20 sides met their xG (expected goals) which has been translated into expected points.

Currently, Solskjaer’s side sit below Arsenal and above Brighton — but only thanks to their greater goal difference.

But the table on xG shows that United would be five places worse off in 11th, which would see them have a win chalked off and a draw added on leaving them with 15 points — two less than they have in reality.

Meandering outside the top-half, United would find themselves looking over their shoulder rather than pushing for the title, as many expected early in the season.

Newly promoted Brentford have been a breath of fresh air since promotion to the Premier League, holding Liverpool to a draw and pushing Chelsea close to a similar feat after beating Arsenal on the opening day.

And the table indicates the Bees they should be nine places better off and occupying the Europa League place ahead of the November internationals.

Fortunately for Solskjaer, the situation is not as bad as xG suggests and the Norwegian will hope for better after the international break.

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