Manchester United host Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League that Sunday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under pressure that is severe – but what is causing his side to battle?
12th at the league table currently sits against Chelsea and Leicester, with two wins. The wheels have come off last December, following his influence when he was appointed for Solskjaer.
As the graph below reveals, United’s league form has dipped to levels below those listed under Jose Mourinho last semester, stagnating with a mean of one point per match.
Not much has changed, aside from a spike in targets conceded during last season’s final two months.
This effort, United’s mean backline are devoting a number of goals because they did during their purple patch term, while the stats also suggest not much has changed with general distribution.
But, their attacking problems ring loud and clear.
This season, netting fewer targets and Solskjaer’s side are reaching fewer shots on goal, hitting on the goal and scoring one every two games.
The picture below demonstrates how United happen to be shooting a lot more insecure shots from long range (red line) but fewer in dangerous positions within the box (blue line), despite a recent spike at the latter.
Close to one per game, United are averaging in terms of big chances created – indicating United are currently missing impetus in midfield.
When studying the players behind the stats, Paul Pogba emerges as the most prolific founder for uncomplicated chances this past year of United, followed by Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and the out-on-loan Alexis Sanchez.
Of those players, just Rashford selected this expression and was available. So the stats suggest United are missing forces paying for injuries to their full-backs and Pogba.
We can measure the caliber of opportunities made by United utilizing Opta’s xG model.
That info implies Solskjaer’s side scored much more than anticipated when he was appointed, together with his negative, through a blend of superior luck, opposition errors and clinical finishing.
But United have consistently scored fewer than anticipated a trend which started after the sensational Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain in March, since April.
Thus, United have failed to capitalise on limited chances for four weeks.
Romelu Lukaku has been offloaded into Inter Milan along with his fashion jarring with the high energy preference of Solskjaer, but his departure meant United were abandoned without a out-and-out striker.
Lukaku stays the sole forwards to surpass a mean of 2 shots from since time began, which indicates an agile, conventional striker may be on the January purchasing list.
As a result of the recent deficiencies, Solskjaer’s side languish underside of their’Big Six’ ranks with their nine aims – a stark contrast to this 29 scored by rivals Manchester City.
Even more damning: out of all Premier League clubs, Newcastle and only Crystal Palace have generated fewer chances this year.
Therefore the pressure ramps up yet another notch on Solskjaer as he prepares his side to deal with the’best’ team leaders.
United will be encouraged Mason Greenwood, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, and from the coming Anthony Martial , however, Solskjaer will probably likely be without still-injured chief creator Pogba and David de Gea following the Spain suffered a strain on global responsibility.
But can they defeat to spring a surprise?
View Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Super Sunday from 3pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 4.30pm.
Sky Sports clients can observe clips that are in-game in the game blog about program and the Sky Sports website. Highlights will be printed on the Sky Sports programs and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel soon after the final whistle.