The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ are called the Big Six for a reason.
However, this season, it hasn’t all been plain-sailing for the superpowers.
Okay, Man City and Liverpool have been pretty good and are embroiled in a title race. Chelsea look set to finish third despite all the uncertainty off the pitch.
North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal will fight to seal that fourth spot and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Meanwhile, United fans will want to forget about the 2021/22 campaign with a sixth-place finish now looking the best-case scenario.
It probably comes as no surprise, then, that five United players find their way into the ‘Big Six’ worst XI in the Premier League this season.
This is based purely on stats and ratings and certainly not our own opinion. We agree that there are a couple of inclusions that don’t belong in the ‘worst’ XI. However, there are a few that definitely do…
Let’s take a look at the worst ‘Big Six’ XI of the season so far:
The ‘Big Six’ worst XI of the season so far
GK: David de Gea (Man Utd)
This seems a bit harsh considering De Gea has been one of United’s best players this season. He just hasn’t been helped by the defence in front of him, which has seen him concede 42 goals in 31 games.
RB: Kyle Walker (Man City)
Again, we’re pretty surprised to see Walker rate the lowest of any right-back in the ‘Big Six.’ Perhaps the fact he’s only registered two assists – and failed to score – has seen him rank lower than the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James.
CB: Harry Maguire (Man Utd)
No offence, Harry, but this one isn’t quite so surprising. The Man Utd captain hasn’t had a good season and that’s reflected in his stats.
CB: Victor Lindelof (Man Utd)
Maguire’s defensive partner only finds himself in this worst XI. Again, we can’t say we’re shocked by Lindelof’s inclusion. Never forget how United signed Lindelof over Virgil van Dijk in a story told by Charlie Austin.
“I remember at the back end of his Southampton career, we were sitting on the bench together at Chelsea away,” Austin told talkSPORT. “I said to him: ‘Come on Virgil, what’s going on? Surely Manchester United must have been in for you?’
“They’re a massive club in England. He said: ‘Do you know what Chaz, in the summer it was between me and Lindelof, and they went for Lindelof.’
LB: Luke Shaw (Man Utd)
You’d be forgiven for thinking Shaw had a big season ahead of him after a brilliant Euro 2020 tournament. But the left-back has struggled this season and could now be ruled out for the rest of the campaign. Does he have a future under potential new manager, Erik ten Hag?
CM: Harry Winks (Tottenham)
Winks has played just 17 Premier League matches in the last six matches under Antonio Conte. Ironically, Winks thought his Spurs career was “dead and buried” before Conte came in and started playing him. It might be “dead and buried” now…
CM: James Milner (Liverpool)
Milner’s contract at Liverpool expires at the end of the season and it’s still not clear whether he will remain at Anfield. The midfielder is now 36 but still plays an important role for Jurgen Klopp’s side. On six separate occasions this season, he’s been introduced in the 89th-minute to see out a game.
CM: Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Liverpool)
Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t featured in Liverpool’s previous six Premier League matches and hasn’t played 90 minutes in the league this season. He wasn’t even named on the bench against Man City last weekend.
LW: Timo Werner (Chelsea)
Werner has actually come into a bit of form – well, he’s scored three goals in his last two matches. However, his brace against Southampton last weekend were his first Premier League goals since October 2nd. They were his first 90 minutes since mid-October too.
ST: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)
Rashford has played 90 minutes just twice in the Premier League this season, scoring just four goals. That’s four goals in 21 league appearances which simply isn’t good enough.
RW: Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal)
Pepe cost Arsenal £72 million and it’s looking increasingly unlikely he’ll ever pay back that hefty transfer fee. He’s scored just once in the league this season and has played just 133 minutes of league football since October.