I’ll push these last four out quickly
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).
Liverpool were a good team last year, it’s hilarious that they chose the end of last season to sack Dalglish given that they were much improved over their run at the end of the ’10-11 season. It’s something I’ve written about before but they seem to have zero concept of how PDO works (link). Moving to Liverpool was a shrewd move by Brendan Rogers. He’s left a club that probably can’t improve it’s league position much to one that can’t do any worse. He’ll win at least one of those bets and be given the credit.
Last season they controlled a significant amount of attacking possession in their matches, finishing 2nd in the league in terms of TSR (link), trailing only City. Score effects will have played a role here, as with Arsenal, but, as with Arsenal, they were still a damn good team who got terrible luck.
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.
Another team that is going to be there or thereabouts in the fight for third or fourth. Finally here’s a reminder of how the predicted table stands to this juncture, based on the ‘comparable’s’ model.
The comparable’s for Liverpool are: ’07-08 Manchester United (87 points in year ‘0’, 90 points in year ‘1’), ’00-01 Manchester United (80, 77), ’06-07 Arsenal (68, 83), ’08-09 Arsenal (72, 75), ’10-11 Chelsea (71, 64), ’02-03 Arsenal (78, 90), ’03-04 Liverpool (60, 58), ’09-10 Liverpool (63, 58), ’07-08 Arsenal (83, 72), ’02-03 Manchester United (83, 75)