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Ranking every Premier League team by how unluckthewe in 2021

2022-06-09 06:27

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Ranking every Premier League team by how unlucky they were in 2021-22

Anyone who tells you luck evens itself out over the course of the season is talking out of their backside. When it comes to a 38-game campaign, fortune plays a massive role, so weve had a look at which Premier League teams had the best and worst luck of 2021-22.

You know when watching your team if theyve been unlucky. You know when theyve played brilliantly and created loads of chances, but, for one reason or another, the ball just will not go in.

Then, inevitably, the opposition goes up the other end and their left-back pings one into the top corner from 35 yards out and at an acute angle. Weve all been there, and for some, that sort of bad luck seems to repeat itself more often than for others.

With the advent of more advanced football metrics like expected goals, we now have the ability to measure that sort of (mis)fortune.

The expected goals stat measures the quality of chances a team creates and tells us, on average, how many goals a team would score from those chances. And using this, we can work out which team is more likely to win any given game, which we can convert into expected points. Simple, right?

Of course, in reality, expected points dont always convert perfectly into actual points on the board like with anything that relies on averages, there are outlying results. Thats where the luck comes in. And by comparing a teams actual points total to their expected points total, we can measure that luck.

If a team has a lot more actual points than expected points, then you can assume that they scored an unusual number of goals from very low-quality chances. In other words, the footballing gods were on their side. The same is true in reverse.

So, using this metric, which Premier League teams were the luckiest this season? Weve had a look using numbers fromUnderstat.

For the teams at the top end of the actual points table, we can see that Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal got the rub of the green a little more often than Manchester City or Chelsea. But none of the top five would have finished in a different position had they accumulated their expected points total rather than their actual points total.

READ:Every 2021-22 PL clubs top scorer, creator, dribbler, tackler & more

Manchester United, however, would have finished down in eighth if every chance created in this Premier League season had been converted as expected based on the Understat model.

Surprisingly, both Brentford and Crystal Palace would have finished above them had they converted and conceded their xG and xGA and Palace and Brentford make up two of our unlucky-team top three. Both of them can look forward to the coming season. With a bit of luck, theyll be challenging for Europe.

The losers in the luck stakes, however, were Watford, who would have been expected to accumulate around 12 more points than they actually managed based on the opportunities they fashioned throughout the campaign. Yes, the Hornets were bad but not as bad as some results might suggest.

At the other end of the scale are Wolves, Leicester and Newcastle, who all exceeded their expected points total considerably, suggesting that theyll need to perform better next season if they want to maintain the league position they managed this term.

What about the rest? Well, here are the 20 2021-22 Premier League teams listed from the largest negative difference between actual points and expected points (xP) and the largest positive difference between actual points to expected points. Or, in plain English, from the unluckiest to the luckiest.

20. Watford 23pts, 35.45xP, -12.45 difference between expected points and actual points total

19. Crystal Palace 48pts, 58.15xP, -10.15 difference

18. Brentford 46pts, 56xP, -10 difference

17. Leeds 38pts, 43.86xP, -5.86 difference

16. Everton 39pts, 43.54xP, -4.54 difference

15. Southampton 40pts, 43.45xP, -3.45 difference

14. Brighton 51pts, 54.16xP, -3.18 difference

13. Burnley 35pts, 38.10 xP, -3.10 difference

12. Norwich 22 pts, 25.04xP, -3.04 difference

11. Aston Villa 45pts, 46.2xP, -1.2 difference

10. Chelsea 74pts, 73.38xP, +0.62 difference

9. Manchester City 93pts, 91.88xP, +1.12 difference

8. West Ham 56pts, 53.56xP, +2.44 difference

7. Manchester United 58pts, 54.53xP, +3.48 difference

6. Arsenal 69pts, 64.76xP, +4.24 difference

5. Tottenham 71pts, 66.09xP, +4.91 difference

4. Liverpool 92pts, 86.56xP, +5.44 difference

3. Newcastle 49 pts, 41.53xP, +7.47difference

2. Leicester 52pts, 42.31xP, +9.69 difference

1.Wolves 51pts, 40.54xP, +10.46 difference

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