Man Utd named the world's seventh best team in top 30 by data analysts

p1ed4gchgopng1uh713cv14591mf99.jpg

Manchester United have evolved into an entirely new team since Bruno Fernandes arrived.

There's a real feeling at Old Trafford that the acquisition of the Portuguese midfielder has been the final piece in the puzzle and they're now hurtling towards Champions League qualification.

Fernandes himself has won back-to-back Player of the Month awards, the first United player to do so since Cristiano Ronaldo, while also notching up a remarkable eight goals and seven assists.

Man Utd in incredible form

Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have formed an unstoppable front three, accumulating more goals than Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Paul Pogba has felt like a new signing by hitting the ground running since his return from injury, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw have both been world-class on the defensive flanks.

Is everything sunshine and rainbows at Old Trafford? Of course not, the centre of defence still needs some work and David de Gea has gone off the boil, but the positive steps have been tremendous.

p1ed4iagd68mrpgh1p9a1lfsb7r9.jpg

Could Man Utd challenge for the title next year?

So, while we're well aware that the Red Devils are targeting the top four in the short term, their impressive form opens up larger questions about what they can achieve in seasons to come.

Besides, Pogba has openly said that United should only ever target winning the Premier League and finishing anywhere lower simply isn't good enough. It's an elite mentality, you have to say.

But how realistic is United challenging for the title when Liverpool and Manchester City are so strong? Well, the statistics would have you believe that it's more feasible than you might think.

That's because the data analysts at fivethirtyeight.com have a complex algorithm that calculates who the best teams in the world are and United are sitting pretty at the moment.

p1ed4ifnd1ilv13tncc02eil49b.jpg

Seventh best team in the world?

Their SPI rating works out a team's overall strength by modelling the amount of goals they would be expected to score and also concede against an average team at a neutral venue.

And it just happens that the maths points towards United being the seventh best football team in the world right now, so check out the top 30 down below to see who they're rubbing shoulders with.

p1ed4iin3t17mg1oe9sst16n1ikrd.jpg p1ed4im31b1ocm5hh15vvngel66f.jpg

GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

We're sure a fair few Liverpool fans will have something to say about City being top...

For my money, the Reds have to be number one. Sure, they've had a few slip-ups recently, but they're the reigning Champions League winners and on course to become the Premier League's greatest ever champions.

And even though I think City's 2017/18 centurions were actually better than them, subjectively at least, it's hard to call them the world's best when they're 21 points off the top of their own league. 

I don't have too many qualms with Bayern Munich being second, but I don't think we should get too excited about them until we see how they handle major Champions League knockout ties. 

p1ed4iq6kocnr7fk1palbhh11hch.jpg

And then we come to United themselves... are they the seventh best team in the world? I don't think so, no, but they're definitely deserving of a place in the top 10.

For all of Juventus' flaws, I'm pretty sure Ronaldo's men should be above United and the same goes for Atletico Madrid, particularly after their masterclass at Anfield.

That doesn't mean I don't think United are on a very promising trajectory, though, so I'll happily put my dignity on the line by saying they'll put up the biggest challenge to the Liverpool-City duopoly next season. 

p1ed4irgfd148c7g3adt1ps7j54j.jpg

I'm going to regret that, aren't I?

News Now - Sport News