*WARNING: THIS IS NOT TO BE TAKEN TOO SERIOUSLY. JUST SOME LIGHT HEARTED STAT OBSERVATIONS AHEAD OF THE BIG MATCH*
But, seriously… Are United going to become Everton?
After two games this season, it’s interesting to note that some of United’s stats have shifted from their own average from last season towards Everton’s.
Take long balls, for instance: United averaged 59 per game last season, which was 10.6% of their passes. This has shifted to 70, and 12.8% of their total so far in 2013/14, which is heading towards Everton’s 13.9% average in the last campaign.
United are famed for having dribbling wingers, and completed 6.4 per game in Ferguson’s final campaign. So far under Moyes they have managed 5.5 per game, which is pretty close to Everton’s 5.3 in 2012/13.
From winning 14.2 aerial duels per game last season, United have upped this to 18.5 in their first two matches this time around. Everton averaged 18.6 per game last season; coincidence?
On very limited evidence, United are becoming more physical and commanding, with less innovation up front. More like the Toffees, you could say…
I won’t be drawing any serious conclusions on two matches of course, but at the same time, it will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on these stats as the season progresses.