This’ll be fun. It’s probably worth re-iterating this point: these predictions are made by a ‘dumb’ model. In other words once I’ve designed the model I have zero input in the predictions it generates, they’re totally arbitrary. I’m guessing the majority of people who have a problem with this prediction will read the title and not this paragraph.
If you haven’t seen these bubble plots before I explained the concept here but basically, higher = better team, further right = more luck, bigger bubble = more points, brighter bubble = more extreme goal difference (green = +ve, red = -ve).
I’ve written about United before (link). Their share of attacking possession has been trending in the wrong direction for a couple of years, which is highlighted in the plot above. Really it’s pretty remarkable they ended up with 89 points last season, having ranked only 6th in the league in terms of TSR (link).
The table below includes the projections based on those comparable teams (as well as the max and min points expected from their performance) as well as their expected performance based on their total shots ratio (TSR) and shots on target ratio (STR) from last season.
They all agree pretty well, take from that what you will. Finally here’s a reminder of how the predicted table stands to this juncture, based on the ‘comparable’s’ model.
The comparable’s for United are: ’03-04 Bolton (53 points in year ‘0’, 58 points in year ‘1’), ’09-10 Tottenham (70, 62), ’01-02 Chelsea (64, 67), ’00-01 Ipswich (66, 36), ’00-01 Leeds (68, 66), ’09-10 Everton (61, 54), ’04-05 Bolton (58, 56), ’01-02 Newcastle (71, 69), ’03-04 Manchester United (75, 77), ’01-02 Liverpool (80, 64)