Liverpool and Man Utd stars feature in worst XI of the Premier League 'big six' in 2020/21

  • Kobe Tong

The Premier League didn't quite produce the fireworks we've come to expect from it last weekend.

Considering the 2020/21 campaign has brought us Manchester United and Liverpool losing 6-1 and 7-2 respectively, it was a little surprising to see so many results that only had one or two goals.

The Manchester derby finished in a pretty tepid 0-0 draw, Arsenal and Chelsea both suffered 1-0 defeats and there wasn't much to write home about during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Fulham.

Premier League title race

But hey, even the world's most competitive league has its off-days and just because there were fewer goals, that doesn't mean there were necessarily fewer talking points.

Besides, the title race is still incredibly difficult to predict with Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard at times tripping over their own legs in their quest for Premier League glory.

However, while those three are most certainly slugging it out for the top prize, not every club in the supposed 'big six' is quite so lucky with Arsenal with bringing up the rear.


'Top six' clubs

As a result, we wanted to compare the division's biggest clubs in a little more detail and contrast their players, in particular, using the data gurus at

They produce average match ratings for every Premier League player each game based on a variety of data-sets ranging across a number of defensive, offensive and passing metrics.

In other words, it's one of the most effective ways of ranking players statistically and taking 'big six' players in isolation, we went all glass-half-empty and calculated the combined worst XI for 2020/21.


Worst XI

It's a little harsh, granted, but don't act as though you aren't intrigued. To make things fair, we only included players who have made at least five appearances - and you can check out the final result below:

GK: David de Gea (Manchester United) - 6.27

Oof. It's a little surprising to see De Gea considering he's starting to show flashes of his best form again, but clearly shipping six goals against Tottenham packed a statistical gut-punch.


RB: Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) - 6.30

Having started the season so impressively that it secured his Arsenal future, Maitland-Niles has gone off the boil and his solid Southampton display was his first 90 minutes in the league since August.

CB: David Luiz (Arsenal) - 6.37

Oof, yeh, it's no wonder we have another Arsenal defender here as they marinate in the bottom half of the table and Luiz has hardly filled Gooners with confidence across his five starts in the league.


CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) - 6.45

Talk about adding insult to injury. Sadly, though, Van Dijk's defensive record before his knock was hardly sunshine and rainbows, keeping only one clean sheet and shipping seven at Villa Park.

LB: Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) - 6.35

Truth be told, Davies falling behind Sergio Reguilón in the Spurs pecking order pulls the rug out from underneath him statistically, making more substitute appearances than starts in the league.

CM: Donny van de Beek (Manchester United) - 6.24

A lack of game-time might have something to do with this, but we're inclined to think it's a little harsh because the Ajax graduate has looked class whenever Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has deployed him.


CM: Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) - 6.29

For whatever reason, goals have proven a scarce commodity for Moura during the Mourinho era and just one goal contribution from 11 Premier League appearances is nothing to write home about.

CAM: Takumi Minamino (Liverpool) - 6.17

Time tells us that it's a mistake to write off Jurgen Klopp signings early, but even the German must be running out of patience as Minamino flatters to deceive with not a single Premier League goal.

RW: Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham Hotspur) - 6.34

The timing seems oh-so cruel for Begwijn on the back of missing two huge chances in the Liverpool defeat and there's no denying that he's the weak link alongside Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.


ST: Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) - 6.31

It's a whopping indictment of Arsenal that their top scorer this season is the worst-rated 'top six' striker in the Premier League but, to his credit, it's hard to fault his Europa League performances.

LW: Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) - 6.27

Similarly, we've seen the best of Arsenal's record signing in Europe, but he flatters to deceive when it comes to the Premier League and his red card against Leeds United won't have helped his case. 


Arsenal have the most players

Arsenal can probably count themselves lucky that they don't dominate the XI considering only Sheffield United have lost more league games than them this season.

That being said, they are the most represented team regardless with two members of the back four and front three, while Spurs are the next most present club with three players making the cut.

United have two squad members in the team, Liverpool boast the most eyebrow-raising pick and Manchester City can count themselves lucky that they join Chelsea with zero players.

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