Friday, 1 March 2013

Stoke City vs West Ham United

Saturday 2nd March2013
Brittania Stadium

Stoke City vs West Ham United

Head to Head
36% Head to Head Win% 40%
31 Won 35
21 Drawn 21
35 Lost 31
102 Scored 127
127 Conceded 102

L L D L W L Recent Form D L L W L L
Goals Scored 7
Goals Conceded 14

D L W L D W Home/Away Form L L L L L L
10 Goals Scored 3
12 Goals Conceded 15

Cameron Jerome Form Player Joe Cole
63.78 Average Capello Index Rating Last 6 Games 65.00
Goals 2
Assists 1

63.92 Average Capello Index Rating Season 65.00
1(14) Appearances 5(1)
Goals 17
Assists 3
Chances Created 15
97 Passes 198
66 Completed 160
68% %Completed 81%


With Neil McDonald telling us in his pre match interview yesterday that West Ham need to be "a little tighter and a bit more physical away from home" and that we need to "make sure we try and keep a clean sheet" it feels safe to say that this is unlikely to be one for the purists.

So, what do we know about Stoke?

We know that they have as big a reputation as Sam Allardyce for playing the long ball. So far this season, 17% of passes played by a Stoke City player have been a long ball, whilst 16% of passes by West Ham players have been long. Only Newcastle United & Reading average as high a proportion as Stoke.

We know that they have traditionally excellent home form. They currently have the 9th best home record in the Premier League, and have lost at home only once in a league game this season (the 0-4 defeat by Chelsea).

But, we also know that they have been a little out of sorts recently defensively. In their last 6 home games (all competitions) Stoke have won two, drawn two and lost two, scoring 10 and conceding 12, which if very un-Stoke like.

This is an area where West Ham will hope to take advantage. With a recent away record of played six, lost six, it's fair to say that West Ham don't really have much to lose. Andy Carroll has come into a little bit of form since returning from injury, contributing two goals in his last four games, and he could be the key to victory at the weekend.

A common feature in Stoke's recent success has been the continued partnership of Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth. But, thanks to Huth's three match ban for planting an elbow into Philippe Senderos' face last weekend, the partnership will be disrupted. To date, Huth has not missed a minute of Premier League football for Stoke this season, whilst Shawcross has missed just one game this season; the 3-3 home draw with Southampton.

The uncertainty caused by a new centre back pairing was targeted by Southampton. The image below shows how Southampton's forward three, Puncheon (# 42), Rodriguez (# 9) and Lambert (# 7) based themselves in the right hand side of the pitch to attack the vulnerability of Matthew Upson at left centre back.

Seeing how Upson is now plying his trade in the Championship with Brighton, it seems likely that a different pair will be tried against West Ham. The most likely replacement for Huth appears to be Ryan Shotton, and I suspect West Ham will target him, in the way Southampton targeted Upson that day.

However, West Ham will need to defend with a little more care and caution than Southampton did. With Southampton focusing their efforts down the right wing, they left their left flank exposed. Something that I believe Stoke do not get enough credit for is their ability to pinpoint and attack weaknesses in the opposition. With Southampton's young left back Luke Shaw (# 23)left only protected by a striker-cum-winger in Guly Do Prodo (# 21), Stoke attacked the right wing like pack animals.

In the image below, you can see that Stoke pushed Ryan Shotton (# 30) very high up the pitch, allowing right sided midfielder Michael Kightly (# 21) to push inside and support the front two of Jonathan Walters (# 19) and Kenwyne Jones (#9). This tactic saw Stoke attack relentlessly down the right hand side.

By simply comparing the teams home and away records, Saturday's game appears over before it begins. But Stoke's biggest weapon may turn to be their downfall. The partnership of Shawcross and Huth is amongst the best in the division, and it is very rare for any other Stoke centre backs to get a look in. The breakup of this partnership will be key if West Ham are to bring anything back from the Potteries.

Whoever partners Ryan Shawcross, be it Ryan Shotton, Geoff Cameron, Andy Wilkinson, or anyone else, is going to have their hands full with Andy Carroll tomorrow afternoon. And if Carroll can keep up his recent form, he may be too much for the new-look centre back pairing.

Last Meeting
19th November 2012

1:0 Jonathan Walters 13
1:1 Joey O'Brien 42'

4-5-1 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1
Asmir Begovic Jussi Jääskeläinen
George Cameron - Joey O’Brien
Ryan Shawcross - James Tomkins
Robert Huth - Winston Reid
Andy Wilkinson - George McCartney
Jonathan Walters - Mark Noble
Glenn Whelan - Mohamed Diamé 
Charlie Adam - Gary O’Neil
Stephen N'Zonzi - Kevin Nolan
Matthew Etherington - Modibo Maïgae
Peter Crouch - Andy Carroll

Jonathan Walters Best Performer Joey O'Brien
68.76 Capello Index Rating 68.71
Michael Kightly Worst Performer Andy Carroll
52.68 Capello Index Rating 58.55

Kevin Nolan (WHU)
Mark Noble (WHU)
James Tomkins (WHU)
George McCartney (WHU)

Matthew Etherington (SC)
Michael Owen (SC)

Robert Huth (SC)

Opposition Last Time Out
vs Fulham

1:0 Dimitar Berbatov 46'

Best Player: Glenn Whelan
Capello Index Rating: 64.10
Worst Player: Cameron Jerome
Capello Index Rating: 58.25

Top 5’s (minimum 5 apps)

Goals Scored
Jonathan Walters 8 - 6 Kevin Nolan
Peter Crouch 6 - 4 Mark Noble
Kenwyne Jones 5 - 3 Andy Carroll
Cameron Jerome 4 - 3 Modibo Maiga
Charlie Adam 2 - 2 Joe Cole

Passing Accuracy
Michael Owen 92.3% - 82.9% Mohamed Diame
Dean Whitehead 84.4% - 82.8% Jack Collison
Steven N'Zonzi 82.0% - 82.3% Mark Noble
Matthew Etherington 81.7% - 81.2% Guy Demel
Glenn Whelan 81.4% - 80.8% Joe Cole

Chances Created per game
Glenn Whelan 1.2 - 2.5 Joe Cole
Charlie Adam 1.2 - 1.5 Mark Noble
Jonathan Walters 1.1 - 1.5 Andy Carroll
Peter Crouch 1.1 - 1.3 Matt Jarvis
Matthew Etherington 0.9 - 1.2 Ricardo Vaz Te

Tackles per game
Geoff Cameron 3.6 - 4.0 Mark Noble
Marc Wilson 3.0 - 3.8 Mohamed Diame
Ryan Shotton 2.5 - 2.0 George McCartney
Andy Wilkinson 2.2 - 1.8 Winston Reid
Robert Huth 1.9 - 1.8 Joey O'Brien

Aerial Duels Won per game
Peter Crouch 7.8 - 10.4 Andy Carroll
Kenwyne Jones 5.1 - 4.3 Carlton Cole
Ryan Shotton 2.5 - 2.0 George McCartney
Andy Wilkinson 2.2 - 1.8 Winston Reid
Robert Huth 1.9 - 1.8 Joey O'Brien

Tony Pulis - Sam Allardyce
37% Current Club Win% 44%
120 Won 36
95 Drawn 21
107 Lost 25

39% Managerial Career Win% 40%
325 Won 332
226 Drawn 221
292 Lost 273

02 League Titles 2
Cup Wins 0

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