Saturday 4th May
West Ham United vs Newcastle United
Newcastle remind me a lot of West Ham under Avram Grant.
They have the ability to hurt teams (they've outscored us, and Yohan Cabaye is the 13th most creative player in the league this year), but their defence is appalling. They've been okay at home and awful away, which is never a good combination. And they have a bunch of players who don't really seem to care.
9 of Newcastle's 10 Premier League wins this season have come at St James' Park, and their solitary away win came in January against Aston Villa. Even their home form has gone a bit awry recently, losing the past two without scoring, and shipping 9 goals in return.
All of this seems to point towards a West Ham win on Saturday. But this is West Ham we're talking about!
If we are to take all three points, we will need to be on top of our game defensively. Newcastle have players who can cause damage. As mentioned above, Yohan Cabaye creates 2.1 chances per game, while Hatem Ben Arfa and Moussa Sissoko complete more successful dribbles per game than any of our players (4.3 & 2.4).
The West Ham backline, though, should be pretty well prepared for this Newcastle team; after all, they play an almost identical style to us.
Despite having a reputation of playing far more aesthetically pleasing stuff than us, Newcastle actually average the most long balls per game than any other side in the Premier League this season (69). West Ham sit in 9th place with 61 (tied with Chelsea, Wigan, West Brom & Reading). They also average just one cross per game less than us, sitting in pretty in third place.
Perhaps the best example of Newcastle's patchy season has been Papiss Cissé. Despite leading their goalscoring charts with 13 goals in all competitions, has often been criticised this season for lacking the prowess he showed in the tail end of the 2011/12 season. This year, Cissé has taken 73 attempts on goal, with 42% going on target, and just 11% hitting the back of the net.
However, we do know that he possesses a knack of being in the right place at the right time; his 94th minute goal in Newcastle's last victory (vs Fulham on 7th April) pays testament to that.
To my mind, most of Newcastle's good work this season has come through Cabaye. Even whilst his team mates have struggled to impose themselves on games and appear to lack to committed to the cause, the Frenchman has impressed.
As already mentioned, Cabaye possesses the ability to create chances from all over the pitch. Despite playing as a central midfielder, he is often seen popping up out wide, whipping crosses into the box for his team mates to attack. However, he also possesses a surprisingly well rounded defensive game, winning 65% of his tackles this season so far.
The following images show where Cabaye creates chances from, and his duel record this season.
Our home form has been really good this year, and Newcastle's away form has been awful. We've been in some really good form recently, whilst Newcastle come into this game on the back of a 0-6 stuffing at home.
Let's be honest: this is a game West Ham should be winning.
Trouble is, the games that West Ham should win, are often the one's that we don't...
Head to Head
31% Head to Head Win % 40%
38 Won 49
35 Drawn 35
49 Lost 38
170 Goals Scored 189
189 Goals Conceded 170
W D D D W L Last 6 L W D L D L
9 Goals Scored 4
6 Goals Conceded 14
D W L W D W Home/Away Form L D L L L D
11 Goals Scored 3
7 Goals Conceded 11
Andy Carroll Form Player (All Comps) Papiss Cissé
65.65 Last 6 65.32
4 Goals Scored 3
2 Assists 1
19(2) Season (League) 61.52
19(2) Appearances 32(1)
7 Goals 8
2 Assists 2
27 Chances Created 31
608 Passes 763
373 Passes Completed 576
61.3% % Completed 75.5%
11 November 2012
1-0 Kevin Nolan 38'
4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 4-4-2
Jussi Jääskeläinen - Tim Krul
Joey O'Brien - Danny Simpson
James Tomkins - Mike Williamson
Winston Reid - Steven Taylor
George McCartney - Davide Santon
Mark Noble - Hatem Ben Arfa
Mohamed Diamé - Yohan Cabaye
Yossi Benayoun - Jonas Gutierrez
Kevin Nolan - Shane Ferguson
Matt Jarvis - Demba Ba
Andy Carroll - Papiss Cissé
Kevin Nolan Best Player Yohan Cabaye
75.46 CI Rating 62.36
Matt Jarvis Worst Player Papiss Cissé
61.91 CI Rating 54.73
West Ham United: George McCartney, James Tomkins
Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Davide Santon, Ryan Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Haris Vuckic
West Ham United: n/a
Newcastle United: Mathieu Debuchy
Opposition Last Time Out
Goals Scored: 0
Goals Conceded: 6
Starting Formation: 4-4-1-1
Mathieu Debuchy Steven Taylor Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Massaido Haidara
Moussa Sissoko James Perch Cheik Tioté Jonas Gutierrez
Best Player: Cheik Tioté
CI Rating: 65.12
Worst Player: Mathieu Debuchy
CI Rating: 53.13
Top 5's (min 5 apps)
Andy Carroll 7 - 13 Demba Ba*
Kevin Nolan 7 - 13 Papiss Cissé
Modibo Maïga 4 - 6 Yohan Cabaye
Mark Noble 4 - 4 Shola Ameobi
Mohamed Diamé 3 - 3 Hatem Ben Arfa
Joey O'Brien 4 - 4 Sylvain Marveaux
Ricardo Vâz Te 4 - 2 Hatem Ben Arfa
Gary O'Neil 3 - 2 Moussa Sissoko
Guy Demel 2 - 2 Yohan Cabaye
Mark Noble 2 - 2 Papiss Cissé
Mohamed Diamé 84.5% - 90.4% Shane Ferguson
Mark Noble 82.3% - 89.9% Steven Taylor
Joe Cole 79.9% - 89.2% James Perch
Guy Demel 79.8% - 88.8% Fabricio Coloccini
George McCartney 79.8% - 87.6% Sylvain Marveaux
Chances Created per game
Joe Cole 1.9 - 2.1 Yohan Cabaye
Matt Jarvis 1.5 - 1.6 Sylvain Marveaux
Mark Noble 1.4 - 1.6 Hatem Ben Arfa
Andy Carroll 1.4 - 1.6 Moussa Sissoko
Gary O'Neil 1.3 - 1.4 Vurnon Anita
Successful Dribbles per game
Mohamed Diamé 2.1 - 4.3 Hatem Ben Arfa
Ricardo Vâz Te 0.8 - 2.4 Moussa Sissoko
Guy Demel 0.8 - 1.5 Davide Santon
Joey O'Brien 0.5 - 1.3 Cheik Tiote
Matt Jarvis 0.4 - 1 Sylvain Marveaux
Tackles per game
Mark Noble 3.7 - 3 Yohan Cabaye
Mohamed Diamé 3.5 - 2.8 Mathieu Debuchy
James Collins 1.9 - 2.6 Cheik Tiote
Winston Reid 1.9 - 2.5 Jonas Gutierrez
George McCartney 1.8 - 2.5 Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Aerial Duels Won per game
Andy Carroll 9.6 - 6.5 Mike Williamson
Carlton Cole 4 - 3.7 Mathieu Debuchy
James Collins 2.9 - 3 Steven Taylor
James Tomkins 2.7 - 2.3 Moussa Sissoko
Winston Reid 2.4 - 2.2 Shola Ameobi
Sam Allardyce - Alan Pardew
42.8% Current Club Win % 36.7%
39 Won 43
24 Drawn 31
28 Lost 43
40.1% Managerial Career Win % 42.4%
333 Won 274
223 Drawn 164
274 Lost 208
2 League Titles 0
0 Cup Wins 1