This is a very quick one. United have won the last four league meetings between the two teams, but did they deserve to? I’ve used my expected goals system (which is explained in full here) and Danny Page’s match simulator to have a look.
Here are the shot maps and stats from the four matches:
December 14th 2014: Manchester United 3 Liverpool 0
Expected goals score: 2.16 – 3.24
Chance of a United win based on the shots: 27.72%
Verdict: David de Gea saved three clear-cut chances, meaning Liverpool got walloped in a match that the shots gave them a 50% chance of winning. United were very lucky to win this one, and doubly so by such a handsome scoreline
March 22nd 2015: Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2
Expected goals score: 0.17 – 1.75
Chance of a United win based on the shots: 90.16%
Verdict: Liverpool scored all of their shots on target, which was a trick that United pulled in both meetings in 2015/16, but the fact that there was only one was the issue here. The visitors missed a penalty and still comfortably deserved to win this one.
September 12th 2015: Manchester United 3 Liverpool 1
Expected goals score: 1.72 – 1.34
Chance of a United win based on the shots: 47.53%
Verdict: Liverpool missed a clear-cut chance when the score was 1-0, and once Joe Gomez (remember him?!) gave away a penalty it was as good as finished. United probably deserved this one for taking their chances, but once again it was a closer match at Old Trafford than the scoreline probably suggested.
January 17th 2016: Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1
Expected goals score: 1.05 – 0.59
Chance of a United win based on the shots: 14.61%
Verdict: Probably the most sickening result of the lot. Even if Liverpool didn’t definitely deserve to win, there was little justice here in the visitors claiming all three points.
Total stats (Liverpool first):
Goals: 2 – 9
Shots On Target: 18 – 14
Expected Goals: 5.81 – 6.22
Verdict: Manchester United have been on average just 0.1 expected goals per game better than Liverpool, yet have won all four matches. The average quality per shot on target clearly favours United, at 0.44 to 0.32, but then two penalties will obviously make a massive difference there. Fingers crossed that the home side gets a bit of payback for a couple of very lucky United wins on Monday night.
This is a new style of match preview from me, so all feedback will be gratefully received. Cheers!