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Friday, April 19, 2024

‘Stoppable force meets moveable object at Stamford Bridge’

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[Getty Images]Before Chelsea’s insipid 2-2 draw at home to 10-man Burnley on Saturday, Mauricio Pochettino claimed his side “should be in fourth position” in the Premier League according to “all the data”.They are not, of course, they are 11th – and could be as low as 13th when they kick off at home to Manchester United on Thursday evening.However, the draw against the Clarets did see them move up to fourth in the table on xG [expected goals for] per match, with two. They were sixth by this particular metric before the game when Pochettino made his comments – an illustration of the profligacy his team continue to display.Next up for the Blues is United, a team giving away shots and chances for fun.The Red Devils’ average shots faced per game stands at a staggering 17.2 – the worst of any side in the division apart from Sheffield United and Luton Town.And these shots are not just wayward, speculative efforts. Their xG against [expected goals against] is fifth highest in the league – again behind the Hatters and the Blades, as well as West Ham United and Burnley.United’s league position arguably does not reflect their disappointing underlying numbers, while the opposite could be said of Chelsea, who languish in the bottom half despite the chances they create.It is likely something will have to give at Stamford Bridge on Thursday when Pochettino’s stoppable force meets Ten Hag’s moveable object.

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