Friday, 5 April 2013

Liverpool vs West Ham United

Sunday 7th April 2013

Liverpool vs West Ham United

Head to Head
53% Head to Head Win% 19%
66 Won 24
34 Drawn 34
24 Lost 66
208 Scored 118 
118 Conceded 208 

W W W W L W Recent Form W L L W L W
18 Goals Scored 9
Goals Conceded 8

W W L W W W Home/Away Form L L L L W L
19 Goals Scored 4
Goals Conceded 13

Steven Gerrard Form Player Gary O'Neil
69.00 Average Capello Index Rating Last 6 Games 62.60
Goals 1
Assists 1

65.81 Average Capello Index Rating League 61.67
31 Appearances 10(7)
Goals 1
Assists 2
78 Chances Created 17
20,47 Passes 480
1,761 Completed 379
86% %Completed 79%

What better game could we hope to have after a fantastic 3-1 home victory than a trip to Anfield, where we haven't won in 50 years? Sam Allardyce said in his pre game conference that we are a "win lose" team, and I think that majority of West Ham fans wouldn't be too surprised to see history repeat itself on Sunday.

Liverpool have been on a very strong run of form (5 wins from their last 6) and they've consistently hit the back of the net this season. Luis Suarez has gone from 17 in 39 last season to 29 in 41 so far this term, while Steven Gerrard has reached 10 goals for the first time in three seasons.

But they aren't invincible. They recently went down 3-1 to Southampton, and there is no reason to suggest that West Ham can't do the same. Despite Steven Gerrard's excellent form this season, he was pretty ineffective against the Saints. If you compare the pitch positions of Gerrard's touches against Southampton and against Aston Villa last weekend, it becomes clear to see why his influence was diminished. 

The first image shows Gerrard's touches against Southampton, and the second shows his touches against Villa. As you can see, Gerrard only managed 8% of his touches against Southampton in the central attacking third, whilst he managed over 18% against Villa.

One of the key reasons for the differences in performances, was the effective use of the defensive midfield role. Against Southampton, Jack Cork spent large portions of the game sitting in front of the defence, never venturing too far forward. Against Villa, neither Yacouba Sylla or Barry Bannan were disciplined enough to sit back and squash Liverpool attacks before they had truly begun.

Hopefully, West Ham shouldn't have too many problems in this area. It's likely that Gary O'Neil and Mohamed Diame will continue in central midfield together on Sunday, and we know that both are capable of sitting deep and building slowly.

However, it's not just the defensive midfielders who'll need to be on top of their game. Liverpool have created 434 chances this season, and are capable of creating from all areas of the pitch. The graphic below shows the areas from which they have created their chances in the league this season.

The real difficulty for West Ham, though, will be the absence of in-form Andy Carroll. I've been trying to make up my mind about who I'd like to see replace the big Geordie this week, but I'm still unsure. I've seen a number of people advocate the 3-5-2 tactic that we tried against Manchester United in the FA Cup earlier in the season, but I'm not so sure.

It seems likely that Carlton Cole will have one last opportunity to convince the management that he deserves a new contract with the club. I'd happily have Cole back in the team if he can put in a shift like he did against Liverpool back in December. We haven't seen a top class performance from Carlton very often since then, so we can only hope that he turns it on on Sunday.

A final point. We aren't going to have much possession at Anfield, so we'll need to use the ball effectively. Although we've been better at this in recent weeks, a good illustration of the difference in quality between the two teams is Joe Cole. In his 6 league appearances for Liverpool this season, Joe managed a passing accuracy of 88.3%, in the 7 he has made for West Ham, it's dropped to 80.9%. Not terrible, but a good indication of how the two sides use the ball.

I'm not expecting much this weekend. 50 years of not winning at Anfield is a bit of a confidence knock, if I'm honest.

But we've got to win there one day, haven't we?

Last Meeting
9th December 2012

0-1 Glen Johnson 11'
1-1 Mark Noble 36'
2-1 Steven Gerrard OG 43'
2-2 Joe Cole 76'
2-3 Jonjo Shelvey 79'

4-3-3 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1
Pepe Reina - Jussi Jaaskelainen
Glen Johnson - Guy Demel
Martin Skrtel - James Collins
Daniel Agger - Winston Reid
Jose Enrique - Joey O'Brien
Steven Gerrard - Mark Noble
Lucas Leiva - Mohamed Diame
Joe Allen - Matthew Taylor
Stewart Downing - Kevin Nolan
Jonjo Shelvey - Matt Jarvis
Raheem Sterling - Carlton Cole

Glen Johnson Best Performer Mark Noble
71.84 Capello Index Rating 71.64
Steven Gerrard Worst Performer Jussi Jaaskelainen
53.44 Capello Index Rating 55.53

Liverpool: Joe Allen, Fabio Borini, Martin Kelly
West Ham United: George McCartney, Mark Noble, Joe Cole


Opposition Last Time Out
vs Aston Villa

1-0 Christian Benteke 31'
1-1 Jordan Henderson 47'
1-2 Steven Gerrard 60'

Starting Formation: 4-3-3

Jose Reina

Glen Johnson; Jamie Carragher; Daniel Agger; Jose Enrique

Steven Gerrard; Lucas Leiva; Jordan Henderson

Stewart Downing; Luis Suarez; Philippe Coutinho

Best Player: Steven Gerrard
Capello Index Rating: 72.39
Worst Player: Stewart Downing
Capello Index Rating: 60.77

Top 5’s (minimum 5 apps)

Goals Scored
Luis Suarez 29 - 6 Kevin Nolan
Steven Gerrard 10 - 5 Andy Carroll
Stewart Downing 5 - 4 Mark Noble
Jonjo Shelvey 5 - 4 Modibo Maiga
Daniel Sturridge 5 - 2 Carlton Cole

Steven Gerrard 9 - 4 Ricardo Vaz Te
Luis Suarez 4 - 3 Joey O'Brien
Jose Enrique 3 - 2 Kevin Nolan
Glen Johnson 4 - 2 Matthew Taylor
Philippe Coutinho 3 - 2 Mark Noble

Passing Accuracy
Jamie Carragher 91.4% - 83.7% Mohamed Diame
Martin Skrtel 90.3% - 82.3% Mark Noble
Joe Allen 89.7% - 81.2% Guy Demel
Daniel Agger 89.3% - 81.2% Jack Collison
Andre Wisdom 88.9% - 80.9% Joe Cole

Chances Created per game
Luis Suarez 2.7 - 2.1 Joe Cole
Steven Gerrard 2.5 - 1.5 Mark Noble
Stewart Downing 2.3 - 1.4 Andy Carroll
Daniel Sturridge 1.7 - 1.4 Ricardo Vaz Te
Raheem Sterling 1.5 - 1.4 Matt Jarvis

Successful Dribbles per game
Luis Suarez 2.8 - 2.2 Mohamed Diame
Raheem Sterling 1.9 - 0.8 Guy Demel
Glen Johnson 1.7 - 0.7 Ricardo Vaz Te
Daniel Sturridge 1.4 - 0.5 Mark Noble
Philippe Coutinho 1.0 - 0.5 Matt Jarvis

Tackles per game
Lucas Leiva 4.4 - 4.0 Mark Noble
Glen Johnson 2.6 - 3.8 Mohamed Diame
Steven Gerrard 2.5 - 1.8 Winston Reid
Andre Wisdom 2.5 - 1.8 George McCartney
Jose Enrique 2.3 - 1.7 James Collins

Aerial Duels Won per game
Daniel Agger 3.4 - 10.2 Andy Carroll
Martin Skrtel 3.1 - 4.1 Carlton Cole
Glen Johnson 2.0 - 3.4 James Collins
Andre Wisdom 1.7 - James Tomkins 2.8
Lucas Leiva 1.6 - 2.6 Winston Reid

Brendan Rodgers - Sam Allardyce
47% Current Club Win% 45%
22 Won 38
11 Drawn 21
14 Lost 26

40% Managerial Career Win% 40%
80 Won 334
53 Drawn 221
65 Lost 272

League Titles 2
Cup Wins 0

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