However, the stats show that things could be worse than they currently are when analysing expected points data.
Let’s explain what expected points data is and why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players are, in one sense, overachieving in the Premier League:
What is expected points (xP)?
The expected points metric is used to determine how many points a team is likely to obtain in one particular match.
One of the metrics it uses to determine this is the number of goals a team is likely to score or concede in a match based on shooting statistics.
For example, Chelsea were expected to score 2.70 goals against Burnley last weekend, taking their shooting opportunities into account. Burnley, meanwhile, were expected to score 0.62 goals.
The game itself finished 1-1, meaning both sides took home a share of the spoils. But in xG terms, Chelsea recorded a higher figure and would have recorded more expected points than Burnley. The points that each side receive add up to three.
If you want more details on expected points and the calculation process, check out the handy explanation thread from The xG Philosophy below.
How are Manchester United overachieving?
According to another post by The xG Philosophy, Manchester United are one of several teams expected to score fewer points than they picked up.
They have registered 17 points in the Premier League this season. However, the xP graph expected United to record 15 points from their 11 games.
Such a tally would position them in joint 10th place in the division. Solskjaer’s side would be six points clear of the relegation zone.
How does the rest of the Premier League table look?
The significant difference at the top of the xP table is that Manchester City are in first position – not real-life leaders Chelsea.
City have had 195 shots in the Premier League this campaign. Only Liverpool (215) have registered more.
When it comes to goals, however, they have only converted 22 of those shots. Liverpool, meanwhile, have scored 31, whilst Chelsea have converted 27 of their 170 shots. In fact, the Blues have recorded five points more (26) than their expected tally.
The other big difference involves Brentford. Thomas Frank’s side are 14th in the actual table, having recorded 12 points from their 11 games. In the expected table, however, they sit joint fourth with 20 points.
The relegation zone, meanwhile, consists of Newcastle, Norwich and Watford. The Hornets are replaced by Burnley in actuality, with Claudio Ranieri’s side sitting joint 17th on 10 points.
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