Thursday, 11 April 2013

Southampton vs West Ham United

Saturday 13th April 2013
St Mary's

Southampton vs West Ham United

 Head to Head 
29.5% Head to Head Win % 43.6%
42 Won 62
38 Drawn 38
62 Lost 42
201 Goals Scored 247
247 Goals Conceded 201

 Recent Form 
L L D W W W Last 6 L L W L W D
10 Goals Scored 7
8 Goals Conceded 8
L D W L W W Home/Away Form L L L W L D
10 Goals Scored 4
10 Goals Conceded 12
Rickie Lambert Form Player Andy Carroll
64.99 Capello Index Rating Last 6 66.68
3 Goals Scored 4
2 Assists 0
64.05 Season (League) 62.39
29(3) Appearances 15(2)
14 Goals 5
5 Assists 0
69 Chances Created 24
1049 Passes 498
698 Passes Completed 296
66.5% % Completed 59.4%

After another good result at the start of the month, West Ham face a difficult trip to the south coast on Saturday afternoon to face an in form Southampton side.

Saints currently sit seventh in the Premier League form table, unbeaten in four games, and having won three games on the spin. What is particularly impressive though, is that two of the three wins came at home to Liverpool and Chelsea. Under Mauricio Pochettino, Southampton have become a very strong side, particularly at home, so much so that the side that face West Ham at the weekend will be almost unrecognisable to the side who got thrashed at the Boleyn in October.

Back at the start of the season, former manager Nigel Adkins struggled to decide his best team, chopping and changing his back five like there was no tomorrow, and often leaving Rickie Lambert out of the team. Pochettino has fielded far more consistent line ups, and it seems safe to assume that the side who beat Reading last weekend will be likely to play again on Saturday.

Something that Pochettino has successful instilled in this Southampton side is a high tempo pressing game. Forwards Lambert, Rodriguez and Ramirez can often be seen pressing defenders high up the pitch, forcing errors, and trying to win possession back high up the pitch.

The image below shows tackles attempted by Southampton against Reading on Saturday (Green = Successful; Red = Unsuccessful). Although some of the attempted tackles were unsuccessful down Rodgriguez's left flank, the image highlights perfectly that Saints put in a number of tackles high up the pitch, pressurising defenders, particularly fullbacks. 

Compare this to the tackles attempted by West Ham against Liverpool, and you can see a clear contrast in styles of play. West Ham have often been accused of sitting deep in away games this season, attempting to frustrate the opposition. The image below shows West Ham's tackles vs Liverpool. Only two tackles were attempted in the opposition half, which demonstrates the way in which we defended deep, soaking up pressure, and stifling Liverpool attacks.

Another common feature of Southampton's play this season has been the use of attacking midfielders to create chances. Whilst they have been capable of mixing up the play, hitting long balls to Rickie Lambert, they commonly attack through the interchanging attacking midfielders.

The image below shows chances created against Reading at the weekend. Only one of these passes came from a traditional crossing position, with the majority straight balls from a narrow position. 

Again, this is a true contrast from the style of attack seen by West Ham this season. The image below shows the chances created by West Ham against West Brom in our last home game. Whist there were some narrow passes, it is clear that West Ham often use width to attack their opponents.

A key man in the recent run of form for Southampton has been Jay Rodriguez. Earlier in the season Rodriguez struggled to step up to Premier League, and it looked as though Nigel Adkins had wasted £6m on the youngster. However, he has become a key man under Pochettino, scoring three and assisting two in his last three appearances.

Rodriguez has found joy as a left sided forward recently, but the following images show that he is not your typical winger. The first image shows Southampton's average positions against Reading at the weekend. Despite lining up as the left winger, Rodriguez actually spent most of his time as the most advanced, central player in the team (you can't actually seen # 9 in the image, as it is layered under # 7, although you can see the edge of the circle).

The second image is a heat map of Rodriguez's touches against Chelsea in Saints last home game. Once again, despite lining up as a winger, a number of his touches actually came in the central attacking areas, and he even popped up the right hand side a number of times.

Despite Southampton's recent form, West Ham haven't been doing too badly either. I had been feeling rather positive about this game, until I saw the list of potential absentees. With rumours circulating that Andy Carroll may miss this game through illness, and more rumours suggesting both James Tomkins and Winston Reid may be absent, it's anyone's guess who actually plays at the weekend.

At this point, I'd take a draw. A win would mean we leapfrog them in the table, making us the best placed promoted team so far, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility. A loss wouldn't be the end of the world, although I really, really want to finish higher than them this year.

I think I'm cautiously predicting a draw.

 Last Meeting 
 20th October 2012 

1-0 Mark Noble 46'
2-0 Kevin Nolan 48'
2-1 Adam Lallana 63'
3-1 Mark Noble 72'
4-1 Modibo Maïga 87'

4-1-4-1 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1

Artur Boruc - Jussi Jääskeläinen
Nathaniel Clyne - James Tomkins
Jose Fonte - James Collins
Jos Hooiveld - Winston Reid
Maya Yoshida - George McCartney
Morgan Schneiderlin - Mohamed Diamé
Jason Puncheon - Mark Noble
Steven Davis - Yossi Benayoun
Adam Lallana - Kevin Nolan
Guly Do Prado - Matt Jarvis
Jay Rodriguez - Andy Carroll

Morgan Schneiderlin Best Player Mark Noble
63.75 CI Rating 76.57
Rickie Lambert Worst Player Andy Carroll
54.63 CI Rating 52.06

Southampton: Richard Chaplow
West Ham United: Winston Reid,James Tomkins,George McCartney,Mark Noble,Joe Cole,Andy Carroll

Southampton: n/a
West Ham United: n/a

  Opposition Last Time Out
vs Reading

 Goals Scorers:
1-0 Jay Rodriguez 34'
2-0 Adam Lallana 72'

 Starting Formation: 4-2-3-1

  Artur Boruc

  Nathaniel Clyne Maya Yoshida Jos Hooiveld Luke Shaw

  Jack Cork Morgan Schneiderlin

  Gaston Ramirez Steven Davis Jay Rodriguez

  Rickie Lambert

 Best Player: Jay Rodriguez
 CI Rating: 72.68
 Worst Player: Rickie Lambert
 CI Rating: 58.41
 Top 5's (min 5 apps) 
 Goals Scored 
Rickie Lambert 14 - 6 Kevin Nolan
Jay Rodriguez 9 - 5 Andy Carroll
Jason Puncheon 6 - 4 Mark Noble
Morgan Schneiderlin 5 - 4 Modibo Maïga
Gaston Ramirez 4 - 2 Jack Collison

Adam Lallana 5 - 4 Ricardo Vâz Te
Jay Rodriguez 5 - 3 Joey O'Brien
Rickie Lambert 5 - 2 Kevin Nolan
Gaston Ramirez 3 - 2 Matthew Taylor
Nathaniel Clyne 3 - 2 Gary O'Neil

 Passing Accuracy 
Guly Do Prado 86.4% - 83.7% Mohamed Diamé
Steven Davis 85.0% - 82.3% Mark Noble
James Ward-Prowse 84.6% - 80.9% Joe Cole
Morgan Schneiderlin 84.4% - 80.3% Jack Collison
Jack Cork 82.9% - 79.8% George McCartney

 Chances Created per game 
Rickie Lambert 2.2 - 2.1 Joe Cole
Adam Lallana 1.5 - 1.5 Mark Noble
Gaston Ramirez 1.3 - 1.4 Matt Jarvis
Danny Fox 1.0 - 1.4 Andy Carroll
Jason Puncheon 0.9 - 1.3 Ricardo Vâz Te

 Successful Dribbles per game 
Jason Puncheon 1.1 - 2.3 Mohamed Diamé
Gaston Ramirez 1.0 - 0.8 Guy Demel
Luke Shaw 0.9 - 0.7 Ricardo Vâz Te
Jay Rodriguez 0.8 - 0.5 Mark Noble
Adam Lallana 0.6 - 0.5 Matt Jarvis

 Tackles per game 
Morgan Schneiderlin 4.2 - 4.0 Mark Noble
Nathaniel Clyne 2.8 - 3.7 Mohamed Diamé
Adam Lallana 2.6 - 2.0 James Collins
Luke Shaw 2.1 - 1.8 Winston Reid
Maya Yoshida 2.0 - 1.8 George McCartney

 Aerial Duels Won per game 
Jos Hooiveld 3.6 - 10.2 Andy Carroll
Maya Yoshida 2.9 - 4.2 Carlton Cole
Jose Fonte 2.9 - 3.2 James Collins
Rickie Lambert 2.4 - 2.7 James Tomkins
Luke Shaw 2.1 - 2.6 Winston Reid

Mauricio Pochettino - Sam Allardyce
40% Current Club Win % 44.1%
4 Won 38
3 Drawn 22
3 Lost 26
33.3% Managerial Career Win % 40.1%
57 Won 332
41 Drawn 221
73 Lost 273

0 League Titles 2
0 Cup Wins 0

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