Friday, 26 April 2013

Manchester City vs West Ham United

Saturday 27th April
Etihad Stadium

Manchester City vs West Ham United

Another victory last weekend means we are now up to five games unbeaten in the Premier League for the first time since 2008/09 season, when we managed six and Carlton Cole scored five goals in five games.

Manchester City though, are a formidable opponent, and the Etihad isn't the easiest place to visit. In fact, the last five visitors to Eastlands have gone away with nothing. In fact, the last time Manchester City lost at home was against Manchester United back at the start of December. And only one team has come away with a draw since then.

However, it is possible to get something from this game. West Ham should be buoyed by reaching the 40 point mark last weekend, and also the 0-0 draw secured against City at home.

Something that has been notable about City this season is that they have tended to boil over with frustration when things aren't going their way. In the early season stalemate, West Ham got about the opposition, putting in tackles all over the pitch, not allowing City's players to settle.

The image below shows those tackles, with green crosses indicating a successful challenge. West Ham also happened to win a very high proportion of tackles that day, successfully stifling the likes of Tevez and Dzeko in their attacks.

What we have seen from City, particularly in recent weeks, is a tendency to get a bit frustrated when struggling to create opportunities. When times are hard, a number of their players seem to resort to long range popshots, which tend to be easier to defend against.

Against Wigan, City had to wait until late in the game to secure a victory. The image below shows their attempted shots against Wigan. As you can see, a number of their attempts went off target, and the majority of attempts were some distance from the goal. Keeping City at an arm's length could be the best way to gain something from the game.

However, something West Ham will have to contend with against City that wasn't there in our last meeting, is natural width. In the game at the Boleyn, City played a very narrow game, with Gael Clichy the only player comfortable out wide.

You can see from the image below that the centre of the pitch became very congested with City players, which seemed to play into West Ham's hands. The width in the image is supplied by Clichy (# 22), Kolo Touré (# 28) and Gareth Barry (# 18).

However, in the last game against Spurs, City played a far more expansive game. Clichy was again left to provide the width alone down the left flank, but on the right we can see James Milner (# 7) in the right wing position. However, the player who is likely to make a real difference in the two City's West Ham will come up against this season is # 5, Pablo Zabaleta.

Against Spurs Zabaleta pushed up and supported his right winger, a common feature of his play this season.

In the recent victory over Manchester United, Zabaleta was possibly the outstanding player. The final image shows his action zones throughout that game.

As you can see, he spent an equal amount of time in the right wing position as he did in the right full back position. Perhaps more importantly though, is that the vast majority of his touches were taken on the right wing.

It's unlikely that West Ham will take anything from the Etihad on Saturday, but it's not impossible. I'd predict a deep, defensive game, focused on stopping the opposition from playing, rather than going out to take a victory.

As they say, you should always respect the point. But a point against City may be worth more than just that.

 Head to Head 
45% Head to Head Win % 38%
42 Won 35
16 Drawn 16
35 Lost 42
143 Goals Scored 138
138 Goals Conceded 143

 Recent Form 
L W W W W L Last 6 L W D D D W
10 Goals Scored 8
7 Goals Conceded 6
D W W W W W Home/Away Form L L W L D D
18 Goals Scored 4
2 Goals Conceded 8
Carlos Tévez Form Player Mohamed Diamé
68.04 Last 6 63.90
2 Goals Scored 1
0 Assists 0
24(5) Season (League) 62.76
24(5) Appearances 27(2)
11 Goals 3
7 Assists 0
51 Chances Created 21
1013 Passes 678
847 Passes Completed 573
83.6% % Completed 84.5%

 Last Meeting 
03 November 2012

4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1
Joe Hart - Jussi Jääskeläinen
Kolo Touré - Joey O'Brien
Vincent Kompany - James Collins
Matija Nastasic - Winston Reid
Gael Clichy - George McCartney
Yaya Touré - Mark Noble
Gareth Barry - Mohamed Diamé
Samir Nasri - Yossi Benayoun
Carlos Tévez - Kevin Nolan
Mario Balotelli - Matt Jarvis
Edin Dzeko - Andy Carroll

Carlos Tévez Best Player Jussi Jääskeläinen
67.13 CI Rating 66.35
Edin Dzeko Worst Player Gary O'Neil
58.11 CI Rating 58.08

Manchester City: James Milner, David Silva
West Ham United: George McCartney, James Tomkins

Manchester City: n/a
West Ham United: n/a

  Opposition Last Time Out:
vs Tottenham Hotspur
 Goals Scored: 1
 Goals Conceded: 3
 Starting Formation: 4-4-1-1

  Joe Hart

  Pablo Zabaletta  Vincent Kompany  Matija Nastasic  Gael Clichy

  James Milner  Yaya Touré  Gareth Barry  Samir Nasri

  Carlos Tévez

  Edin Dzeko

 Best Player: Samir Nasri
 CI Rating: 70.88
 Worst Player: Joe Hart
 CI Rating: 58.82
 Top 5's (min 5 apps) 
 Goals Scored 
Carlos Tevez 17 - 7 Kevin Nolan

Sergio Aguero 15 - 6 Andy Carroll
Edin Dzeko 13 - 4 Modibo Maïga
Yaya Touré 8 - 4 Mark Noble
Samir Nasri 5 - 3 Mohamed Diamé

David Silva 7 - 4 Joey O'Brien
Carlos Tevez 7 - 4 Ricardo Vâz Te
Yaya Toure 4 - 3 Gary O'Neil
James Milner 2 - 2 Mark Noble
Samir Nasri 5 - 2 Kevin Nolan

 Passing Accuracy 
Samir Nasri 90.5% - 84.5% Mohamed Diamé
Joleon Lescott 89.2% - 82.3% Mark Noble
Vincent Kompany 89.2% - 79.9% Joe Cole
Javi Garcia 89.1% - 79.8% George McCartney
Jack Rodwell 89% - 79.5% Kevin Nolan

 Chances Created per game 
David Silva 3.3 - 1.9 Joe Cole
Carlos Tevez 1.8 - 1.4 Matt Jarvis
James Milner 1.6 - 1.4 Andy Carroll
Samir Nasri 1.8 - 1.4 Mark Noble
Yaya Toure 1.5 - 1.4 Gary O'Neil

 Successful Dribbles per game 
Sergio Aguero 1.9 - 2.2 Mohamed Diamé
Yaya Toure 1.4 - 0.8 Guy Demel
Carlos Tevez 1.1 - 0.8 Ricardo Vâz Te
Samir Nasri 1 - 0.4 Joey O'Brien
David Silva 1 - 0.4 Matt Jarvis

 Tackles per game 
Pablo Zabaleta 3.8 - 3.7 Mark Noble
Gael Clichy 3.4 - 3.4 Mohamed Diamé
Vincent Kompany 2.2 - 2 James Collins
Gareth Barry 2 - 1.8 Winston Reid
Aleksandar Kolarov 1.7 - 1.8 George McCartney

 Aerial Duels Won per game 
Matija Nastasic 3.3 - 9.6 Andy Carroll
Edin Dzeko 2.8 - 4.2 Carlton Cole
Javi Garcia 2.1 - 3 James Collins
Gareth Barry 1.9 - 2.7 James Tomkins
Maicon 1.6 - 2.5 Winston Reid

Roberto Mancini - Sam Allardyce
59.3% Current Club Win % 43.3%
111 Won 39
37 Drawn 24
39 Lost 27
56.3% Managerial Career Win % 40.1%
306 Won 333
135 Drawn 223
102 Lost 273

4 League Titles 2
8 Cup Wins 0

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