Sunday 19th May
West Ham United vs Reading
I don't think there are that many West Ham fans left that view Reading in any kind of positive light. Ever since Jimmy Kebé taunted Jack Collison last season, it's fair to say that relationships have soured.
That's why it would be lovely to give Reading a farewell thumping before they go back to the where they belong. That said, if the team perform in a similar manner to the way they did against Everton last weekend, that will almost certainly not be happening.
It's fair to say that Reading have had a tough time in this season's Premier League. Conceding 71 goals, and holding the joint worst goal difference in the competition gives an indication of how they've fared.
However, there is a common consensus that it could have been a whole lot worse had it not been for rookie goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. The England U-21 keeper has earned many plaudits this season for keeping Reading in game after game as they slowly edged towards the drop.
The image below shows McCarthy's saves per game throughout the season. In the league this season, McCarthy has made three saves to every goal he has conceded, whilst his closest rival for the gloves, Adam Federici, has only made 1.5 saves per goal conceded.
If the rumours are to be believed, McCarthy is a summer transfer target for West Ham, amongst others, so keep a close eye on this one on Sunday.
The other shining light for Reading this season has been the performances of supersub Adam Le Fondre.
Despite only starting 11 of his 33 appearances this season, and averaging just 44.5 minutes per appearance, Le Fondre has bagged himself 11 goals this season, and is the joint 5th highest scoring Englishman going into the final day of the season (Lampard 15; Walcott & Lambert 14; Rooney 12; Defoe, Le Fondre, Sturridge 11).
As illustrated by the image below, Le Fondre is a poacher in it's truest form. Every goal he has scored this season has come from within the penalty area, with plenty coming from inside the six yard box. It really wouldn't be a surprise to see Le Fondre stay in the Premier League next season, and West Ham could do much worse than call on him from the bench when a goal is needed.
When we played Reading in December, it was one of the least attractive games of the season. Reading scored a very early goal thanks to some very poor defending from James Collins, and the preceded to sit deep and soak up everything West Ham could throw at them.
The image below shows West Ham's starting XI's average positions in that game. As you can see, Reading's defensive game allowed our side to push very high up the pitch in search for a goal.
The trouble in that game was that West Ham were without Andy Carroll, Mo Diamé, Ricardo Vaz Te, and Guy Demel, leaving us lacking creativity throughout.
Sunday, though, should be a different proposition. Since the inevitable was confirmed, Reading have recorded their first win under Nigel Adkins, and put up a spirited performance against Manchester City.
It could be a case of having the shackles off, because, against Fulham, Reading were creating chance after chance from all over the pitch. The image below shows where their chances were created from.
The danger man that day was Hal Robson-Kanu, and West Ham will need to keep him under close supervision if we are to end the season on a high.
Robson-Kanu is a dangerous sort of winger, cutting in and shooting with regularity, troubling the scoring charts on a number of occasions this season.
The image below shows his shots against Fulham.
(White = Goal; Orange = Blocked; Red = Off Target)
West Ham have had a great season, all told. A win on Sunday would cement 10th place, which is a fantastic return for a newly promoted side.
I'm going to predict a 2-1 victory. I'm hoping for a bit of a fresh side, as the lads who've been playing in recent weeks seem to be on the beach already!
A victory, 10th place, and the chance to wave goodbye to Reading? There is the potential for this to be a good weekend.
Head to Head
34% Head to Head Win % 46%
19 Won 26
11 Drawn 11
26 Lost 19
84 Goals Scored 94
94 Goals Conceded 84
D D W L D L Last 6 L D L D W L
6 Goals Scored 5
7 Goals Conceded 8
W L W D W D Home/Away Form L L L L L W
10 Goals Scored 8
6 Goals Conceded 14
Matt Jarvis Form Player (All Comps) Hal Robson-Kanu
63.45 Last 6 62.88
1 Goals Scored 3
0 Assists 0
29(3) Season (League) 62.33
29(3) Appearances 12(12)
2 Goals 7
0 Assists 1
46 Chances Created 12
591 Passes 312
442 Passes Completed 230
74.8% % Completed 73.7%
29 December 2012
1-0 Pavel Pogrebnyak 5'
4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1
Jussi Jääskeläinen - Adam Federici
James Tomkins - Chris Gunter
James Collins - Alex Pearce
Winston Reid - Adrian Mariappa
Joey O'Brien - Ian Harte
Mark Noble - Mikele Leigertwood
Gary O'Neil - Jem Karacan
Matt Taylor - Jimmy Kebé
Kevin Nolan - Danny Guthrie
Matt Jarvis - Jobi McAnuff
Carlton Cole - Pavel Pogrebnyak
Mark Noble Best Player Pavel Pogrebnyak
65.8 CI Rating 65.76
Jack Collison Worst Player Noel Hunt
51.8 CI Rating 57.33
West Ham United: George McCartney, James Tomkins
Reading: Adam Federici, Jimmy Kebé, Jason Roberts
West Ham United: n/a
Opposition Last Time Out
vs Manchester City
Goals Scored: 0
Goals Conceded: 2
Starting Formation: 4-2-3-1
Chris Gunter Adrian Mariappa Sean Morrison Stephen Kelly
Jem Karacan Danny Guthrie
Gareth McCleary Jobi McAnuff (69') Hal Robson-Kanu
Pavel Pogrebnyak (62')
subs: Stuart Taylor, Alex Pearce, Ian Harte, Daniel Caricco, Hope Akpan, Nick Blackman (69'), Adam Le Fondre (62')
Best Player: Alex McCarthy
CI Rating: 64.54
Worst Player: Adam Le Fondre
CI Rating: 56.11
Top 5's (min 5 apps)
Andy Carroll 7 - 12 Adam Le Fondre
Kevin Nolan 7 - 8 Pavel Pogrebnyak
Modibo Maïga 4 - 7 Hal Robson-Kanu
Mark Noble 4 - 6 Noel Hunt
Mohamed Diamé 3 - 5 Jimmy Kebé
Joey O'Brien 4 - 6 Jobi McAnuff
Ricardo Vâz Te 4 - 4 Nicky Shorey
Gary O'Neil 3 - 3 Ian Harte
Mark Noble 2 - 3 Hope Akpan
Guy Demel 2 - 2 Gareth McCleary
Mohamed Diamé 84% - 79.7% Jay Tabb
Mark Noble 82.4% - 79.2% Danny Guthrie
George McCartney 79.8% - 79.2% Jem Karacan
Joe Cole 79.8% - 75.4% Mikele Leigertwood
Guy Demel 79.4% - 74% Nick Blackman
Chances Created per game
Gary O'Neil 1.5 - 2.7 Nicky Shorey
Joe Cole 1.5 - 1.2 Danny Guthrie
Mark Noble 1.4 - 0.9 Jobi McAnuff
Matt Jarvis 1.4 - 0.8 Gareth McCleary
Andy Carroll 1.2 - 0.8 Ian Harte
Successful Dribbles per game
Mohamed Diamé 2 - 1.3 Jobi McAnuff
Guy Demel 0.8 - 1.1 Jimmy Kebé
Ricardo Vâz Te 0.7 - 1 Jason Roberts
Matt Jarvis 0.5 - 0.7 Hope Akpan
Mark Noble 0.4 - 0.6 Mikele Leigertwood
Tackles per game
Mark Noble 3.6 - 3 Mikele Leigertwood
Mohamed Diamé 3.5 - 2.4 Jem Karacan
James Collins 1.9 - 2.3 Shaun Cummings
Winston Reid 1.9 - 2.1 Jay Tabb
George McCartney 1.8 - 1.9 Danny Guthrie
Aerial Duels Won per game
Andy Carroll 9.4 - 4.3 Sean Morrison
Carlton Cole 3.9 - 3.5 Alex Pearce
James Collins 3 - 3.4 Kaspars Gorkss
James Tomkins 2.7 - 3 Pavel Pogrebnyak
Winston Reid 2.4 - 2.9 Adrian Mariappa
Sam Allardyce - Nigel Adkins
41.9% Current Club Win % 14.2%
39 Won 1
25 Drawn 2
29 Lost 4
40.0% Managerial Career Win % 50.4%
333 Won 225
224 Drawn 89
274 Lost 132
2 League Titles 3
0 Cup Wins 0