Retrospective Scores: Are Man United doing better in the Premier League this season?
Managers analyse and study results on a game-to-game level, and supporters always talk about how their team performed in the respective result from last season ahead of the next Gameweek, hoping for a similar or better result. Going back to old stomping grounds and picking up a result is a feel-good factor, and managers want to sustain that consistency. The Hype Train will assess respective team performances to judge if teams are doing better or worse than last seasons respective results. All aboard.
The race for the top four will be the primary focus of this examination, and clubs of popularity in the Fantasy Premier League, to see if clubs are doing better in respective fixtures and if there are myths and patterns with team’s results. It must be stressed that this only looks at results in identical fixtures from the last season, and if it is good enough for managers to chart their progress it is good enough for us to use to see if we can make assured predictions for the rest of the season.
The club we are focusing on in our debut study is Manchester United, a club who avoided the dreaded Europa League this season, and now they can compete with the other top four teams without the fear of playing from Thursday to Sunday on a regular basis.
Also, you voted to see Manchester United’s comparative results. We really believed Arsenal would have won the vote, just because their results are always under scrutiny.
The measurements are simple to understand, we deduct or add points based on the difference of result from last season. For example; the only time a maximum of three points on either positive or negative swing can be attributed to a total reversal of a previous result, and a neutral result means that the points did not change. Two examples are:
Liverpool 2-3 Swansea (16/17) | Liverpool 5-0 Swansea (17/18) = +3
Liverpool 0-0 Man United (16/17) | Liverpool 0-0 Man United (17/18) = 0
Here are the stated parameters:
Win to Win (W > W) = 0
Win to Draw (W > D) = -2
Win to Loss (W > L) = -3
Draw to Win (D > W) = +2
Draw to Draw (D > D) = 0
Draw to Loss (D > L) = -1
Loss to Win (L > W) = +3
Loss to Draw (L > D) = +1
Loss to Loss (L > L) = 0
Relegated & Promoted Clubs
Keeping the same focus on respective results we are aware that clubs are relegated from the Premier League, and promoted, so to keep true to the expected results of any team the golden rule is that every team in the league is expected to beat a promoted team. We have equivalency teams to benchmark results from last season, and in the results table, these respective results are marked with an asterisks (*). It is Safe to say that Man United would expect to improve their results against all the promoted clubs.
Hull City (18th) = Newcastle (1st Place)
Middlesbrough (19th) = Brighton (2nd Place)
Sunderland (20th) = Huddersfield (Play-off Promotion)
Man United (MUN)
Key Stats (Man United):
Man United have dropped points from respective fixtures three times this season.
Man United have gained points from respective fixtures nine times this season.
Man United have repeated the same score in respective fixtures , first was a draw with Liverpool (0-0), a win against Spurs (1-0), and a loss at Old Trafford to hometown rivals Manchester City (1-2).
Most of the points gained for the Red Devils this season have been from turning draws into wins, overcoming the neutral result an impressive seven times.
However, Man United have also reversed a win into a loss, just the once against Huddersfield. Compared to heated rivals Liverpool, the Merseyside team don’t have this blemish on their record at this stage of the season.
During the 2016/17 season Man United didn’t lose to a promoted team, yet Man United lost to Huddersfield (newly promoted) in the 2017/18 season.
Man United have lost three games this season, which is the same amount last season, heading into gameweek twenty-five. Jose Mourinho’s team ended up losing five games in 2016/17, one more than their rivals Liverpool. The biggest difference between the two is that Liverpool are drawing more games than Man United.
Man United have kept fourteen clean sheets this season, compared to the eleven clean sheets from respective fixtures last season. Last season the Red Devils were involved in four 0-0’s in these comparable fixtures and reduced that to two this season.
Here are the comparisons between the progress made between the respective scores this season:
Goals scored 16/17: 31
Goals scored 17/18: 49
Goals scored difference: +18
Goals conceded 16/17: 20
Goals conceded 17/18: 16
Goals conceded difference: +4
Man United: Next Five Matches
GW25: Spurs (16/17 Score: TOT 2-1 MUN)
GW26: Huddersfield (16/17 Score: MUN 3-1 SUN)*
GW27: Newcastle (16/17 Score: HUL 0-1 MUN)*
GW28: Chelsea (16/17 Score: MUN 2-0 CHE)
GW29: Crystal Palace (16/17 Score: CRY 1-2 MUN)
Manchester United collected twelve points from fifteen from their upcoming five fixtures last season. The only time they failed to pick up a result was their loss to Spurs at their last ever appearance at White Hart Lane. Harry Kane admirers will be pleased to hear the England international scored in this respective fixture to win it for Spurs. Going into their next three fixtures the Red Devil’s will be competitive in all of them, but there are quite a few potential slip-ups to watch out for. Spurs and Chelsea are natural doubts, but so are Crystal Palace who have been hot in-form since Roy Hodgson took charge at Selhurst Park. Huddersfield also beat Man United earlier this season, and Newcastle are the only team where people would expect there being no issues for picking up three points.
The good news is that Man United’s defence has been exceptional of late, so the red half of Manchester should be looking at collecting ten points or more from their next five fixtures at a minimum.
Summary: Man United
Jose Mourinho has progressed Manchester United this season, the disappearing act of the fretful Europa League has given his team the ability to compete on the same level, and schedule, as the top four from last season, which has led to a huge upswing. Like Liverpool in our last review, it is green arrows across the board for their heated rivals. Compared to last season Mourinho’s team defend better, attack better, have more depth, and overall have a solid chance of finishing in this seasons’ top four. The likelihood is that Manchester United will finish in a Champions League place, it would be extremely surprising to see them drop out.
The secret of their success has been simple…investment, investment, and even more investment. Shelling out money to bring in the trio of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, and Victor Lindelöf in the summer. Jose has been adding to his team gradually, but the transfers are huge heavyweight additions, and they have recently brought in the services of renegade Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal during the winter transfer window. The addition of the Chilean might just be enough to ensure that Jose Mourinho will see his squad keeping up appearances behind league leaders, Manchester City, the other big spenders. There is no surprise that either of these teams are spearheading the Premier League, or why either has dramatically improved their fortunes this season. ‘Fortune’ being the key word.
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