Liverpool lead Manchester City by six points – but what would happen if results were based on xG, if all big chances were scored, shots that hit the woodwork went in, games ended at half-time or there were no penalties?

We are now 10 games into the Premier League season, with the top two tussling again and Leicester making headway towards dismantling the ’big six’ monopoly, while Tottenham and Everton have failed to find their groove.

But how would the table look if results were swung by a range of defining factors? Here, we provide the answers to those hypothetical questions. First up, here’s the current Premier League table as it stands today…

xG results: City pip Reds, Man Utd in third

The tables would turn for the current top two if results were based on Opta’s expected goals (xG), a metric which measures the true value of chances in front of goal.

Pep Guardiola’s side would have a perfect 10 wins from 10 games and sit six points clear of Liverpool on an insurmountable 30 points.

The runner-up spot would be shared by three teams on 24 points, with Jurgen Klopp’s side edging Manchester United and Chelsea on goal difference.

Burnley would be flying high in fifth, while the data also places Everton, Southampton and Brighton with top-half standings, suggesting they have been unlucky so far – despite the Saints’ record-breaking 9-0 defeat to Leicester.

At the other end of the table, Watford soar up to 11th and Newcastle sit bottom with 10 successive defeats, while Sheffield United would be among the relegation places – only six points worse off than Spurs in joint-15th spot.

Scoring big chances: City edge Reds again

What if all big chances were scored? Well, City would top the table again, pipping Liverpool to the summit by one point – having won nine and lost only to Wolves.

The only significant winners among the top half would be Wolves in fifth and Burnley in eighth, while Brighton, Everton, Villa and Watford would gain notable ground in the lower half of the table.

However, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United would plummet into the relegation battle, indicating those sides have benefited from opposing sides missing clear-cut chances.

Woodwork scored: Spurs and Brighton bounce

Guardiola’s side would top the Premier League once again if every shot that hit the woodwork was scored, but sit level on points with Liverpool, leading with a staggering goal difference margin.

Spurs would have averted their current crisis in fifth place, while Brighton also receive a sizeable boost into seventh.

Crystal Palace have benefited from shots hitting the frame of the goal. Had those efforts gone in, the Eagles would dive eight places into 14th – dropping two points against Manchester United and another at Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Manchester United and Sheffield United both slip four places into the bottom half of the table.

Half-time result: Man Utd runners-up

The table would be unrecognisable if games ended at half-time, with the only team to retain their current standing being Liverpool at the summit.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would be level on points with their rivals in runners-up spot, edging Manchester City in third and Villa in fourth – having led at the break on seven occasions and trailed only twice.

Spurs, Everton and Brighton are among the teams that have seemingly dropped points after the interval, all closing distance on the league leaders if the half-time result stood.

Meanwhile, Leicester, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Wolves have all clearly fought back to salvage points during the second interval this term.

No penalties: Man Utd slip to 12th

Incredibly, Manchester United would be runners-up if the half-time score was final, but sit in 12th if no penalties had been awarded – dodging the relegation zone by just two points.

Solskjaer’s team would be two points worse off, having claimed a 1-0 win against Leicester through a Marcus Rashford spot kick last month.

Burnley and Villa have suffered from conceding spot kicks and both would jump seven places, while Crystal Palace and Wolves would suffer serious slips without their converted penalties.


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