BRENTFORD are shock contenders for a European place next season after a superb start to the 2021-22 Premier League season.
The Bees – promoted from the Championship via the playoffs just over four months ago – sit seventh, just TWO points off the top four after a red-hot start.
Thomas Frank’s side beat Arsenal 2-0 to kick-off their year with a bang, before snatching a thrilling 3-3 draw with title-chasing Liverpool a fortnight ago.
But incredibly Brentford can count themselves UNLUCKY to sit so low, with their expected points putting them fourth.
Expected points – or xPoints – takes teams’ performances into account, including chances created at both ends, expanding upon the xG (expected goals) predictive model.
And according to the numbers, Brentford should have one additional point – enough to see them break into the top four.
It’s bad news for league leaders Chelsea though, with the Blues currently ‘overperforming’.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have picked up 16 points this season – FOUR more than the xPoints predicted.
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Manchester United are another team to see a huge drop when you look at xPoints, currently two points and one place above their predicted standing.
Everton sit third in the xPoints table, with Merseyside rivals Liverpool sitting exactly where they should – second on 15 points.
Tottenham are the biggest overperformers of the season though.
Spurs currently sit eighth with 12 points, but should be 16TH on just seven points.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s team were expected to sit lower having scraped through their first three Prem games via 1-0 wins, before losing their next three, prior to their North London derby drubbing of Arsenal.
Speaking of the Gunners, Mikel Arteta’s side should be 13th with eight points, but are currently exceeding expectations – sitting two points and two places higher in real life.
At the foot of the table, Norwich are underperforming, having picked up just ONE point from seven games rather than their expected total of five.
Watford, despite sacking Xisco Munoz – replacing him with Claudio Ranieri – are actually overperforming, with seven points rather than sixth -sitting 15th rather than their expected 19th.
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The England squad arrive at camp for October’s international break