Friday, 7 February 2014

Aston Villa vs West Ham United

Saturday 8th February 2014
Villa Park

Aston Villa vs West Ham United

After a week of headline news for off the field reasons, Saturday brings our focus firmly back to where it needs to be. With or without Andy Carroll, West Ham need to follow up two impressive results and performances at Villa Park.

Yes, a battling nil nil draw at Stamford Bridge and the final nail in Michael Laudrup’s coffin at the Boleyn last week have seen an upturn in performances, results, and the mood amongst West Ham fans. But Aston Villa away is a fixture that saw possibly our worst away performance under Sam Allardyce last season (we sat back to see what they had for 45 minutes, if you remember), and an improvement upon that horroshow is a must.

For me, the Villains have a few key players. Obviously Christian Benteke is a real threat up front, returning to form to bag three goals and two assists in his last four Premier League games.

Before that, the Belgian suffered his leanest spell in the Premier League so far, going 11 games without a goal. But he is well and truly back in form, and is Villa’s highest performer in the last 6 games, according to the Squawka Performance Matrix. Despite his dry spell, Benteke has managed to nab himself 7 goals in 19 games this season, taking his overall Premier League tally to a very impressive 26 in 53 games.

There is more to the big centre forward than just goals; Benteke has created 35 goalscoring opportunities for his teammates this season, with 2 resulting in assists, and has also won 54% of his 262 aerial duels (that’s only half an aerial duel per game less than Andy Carroll contested in the whole of last season, by the way); but it is the goals that set him apart from other target men.

The image below shows Benteke’s shooting accuracy this season, standing at an impressive 57% on target. What’s more, 19% of his 37 shots have ended up nestled in the onion bag, and a third of his accurate shots hit the back of the net.

Another key player for Villa is a Fabian Delph. The former Leeds United midfielder hasn’t really hit the heights that were expected of him in his career to date, but this season he has gone from a steady midfield player in this division, to a stand out performer in the Aston Villa side.

Delph has an impressive 82% pass accuracy this season, has created 14 chances for his teammates, has won 49% of his 105 attempted tackles, completed 67% of his 57 take ons, and has bagged himself a couple of goals straight out of the top drawer.

Arguably his best performance of the season came in Villa’s 3-2 away victory at St Mary’s in December. The Englishman completed 2 out of 2 attempted take ons, 3 out of 5 tackles, completed 75% his passes, created one chance, and bagged himself a goal.

The image below shows his heat map from that game. Despite Villa only managing 33% of the possession, Delph was everywhere, and managed to really leave his stamp on the game.

Despite this being an away game, this is a really good opportunity for West Ham. Aston Villa often struggle at Villa Park, and are recognised as a counterattacking side, due to the pace of the likes of Delph, Benteke, Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor. This style isn’t really suited to being the home side, so West Ham will have the opportunity to go and take the initiative on Saturday.

If Andy Carroll lines up we have a really good chance of recording back to back victories for the first time in an age. And even he doesn’t this is a game we should really be targeting a victory from. Win this, and we could leapfrog up to 7 sides, and put ourselves just 2 points behind Villa in 10th place.

Make no mistake, this is an important game. And we need to take this opportunity.

Head to Head
35% Head to Head Win % 35%
38 Won 38
32 Drawn 32
38 Lost 38
168 Goals Scored 166
166 Goals Conceded 168

Recent Form
W L L D W L Last 6 L W L L D W
10 Goals Scored 5
11 Goals Conceded 12

L L D L L W Home/Away Form L L L L W D
7 Goals Scored 4
12 Goals Conceded 16

Form Player (excl. GK)
(Last 6 League)
Christian Benteke - George McCartney
5 Appearances 4
450 Minutes Played 343

142 Sum Squawka Performance Score 105
28 Average Squawka Performance Rating 26

204 Passes Attempted 166
130 Completed 130
64% Success Rate 78%

10 Chances Created 2
2 Assists 0

7 Attempts on Goal 0
6 On Target 0
3 Goals 0

15 Take Ons Attempted 1
5 Successful Take Ons 0
33% Success Rate 0%

9 Tackles Made 12
3 Successful Tackles 7
33% Success Rate 58%

0 Interceptions 5
5 Clearances 46
1 Blocks 7
1 Defensive Actions Per Game 15

73 Aerial Duels 20
43 Won 9
59% Success Rate 45%

0 Defensive Errors 0
0 Leading to a Goal 0

Last Meeting
27 October 2013

 3-5-2 Starting Formation 4-6-0

Brad Guzan - Jussi Jääskeläinen
Ron Vlaar - Guy Demel
Nathan Baker - James Tomkins
Ciaran Clark - Winston Reid
Matthew Lowton - Rǎzvan Raţ (90')
Ahmed El Ahmadi - Mark Noble
Kieran Westwood - Jack Collison (63')
Yacouba Sylla - Stewart Downing
Leandro Bacuna - Kevin Nolan
Christian Benteke - Ravel Morrison
(57') Andreas Weimann - Matt Jarvis (62')

Jed Steer - Adrián
Chris Herd - Joey O'Brien
Damien Johnson - Dan Potts
Aleksandr Tonev - Mohamed Diamé (90')
Jordan Bowery - Joe Cole (62')
Nicklas Helenius - Modibo Maïga
(57') Libor Kozak - Carlton Cole (63')

Aston Villa: Ron Vlaar, Jores Okore, Joe Bennett, Chris Herd, Charles N'Zogbia, Libor Kozak, Gabriel Agbonlahor
West Ham United: Joey O'Brien, Mohamed Diamé, Joe Cole

Aston Villa: n/a
West Ham United: Andy Carroll

Opposition Last Time Out (League)
vs Everton
Goals Scored: 1
Goals Conceded: 2
Starting Formation: 3-4-1-2

Brad Guzan

Ron Vlaar (80')  Nathan Baker  Ciaran Clark

Leandro Bacuna  Ashley Westwood  Fabian Delph  Ryan Bertrand

Andreas Weimann (87')

Grant Holt (61')  Christian Benteke

Jed Steer
Matthew Lowton
Yacouba Yylla
Karim El Ahmadi (61')
Marc Albrighton (80')
Nicklas Helenius
Aleksandr Tonev (87')
Best Player: Leandro Bacuna
Squawka Rating: 48
Worst Player: Brad Guzan
Squawka Rating: -27

Top 5's (Min 5 Apps)
Goals Scored
Christian Benteke 7 - 4 Carlton Cole
Leandro Bacuna 4 - 4 Kevin Nolan
Libor Kozak 4 - 3 Joe Cole
Gabriel Agbonlahor 3 - 3 Ravel Morrison
Andreas Weimann 3 - 2 Ricardo Vâz Te

Gabriel Agbonlahor 5 - 4 Kevin Nolan
Matthew Lowton 3 - 3 Andy Carroll
Andreas Weimann 3 - 3 Matt Jarvis
Christian Benteke 2 - 2 Modibo Maïga
Leandro Bacuna 1 - 2 Ravel Morrison

Passing Accuracy
Ashley Westwood 82% - 86% Ravel Morrison
Karim El Ahmadi 82% - 83% Mark Noble
Fabian Delph 82% - 82% Stewart Downing
Ron Vlaar 77% - 81% Jack Collison
Aleksandr Tonev 76% - 80% Joe Cole

Chances Created per game
Christian Benteke 1.9 - 1.8 Stewart Downing
Ashley Westwood 1.7 - 1.6 Mark Noble
Marc Albrighton 1.6 - 1.2 Matt Jarvis
Gabriel Agbonlahor 1.2 - 0.9 Kevin Nolan
Matthew Lowton 1 - 0.7 Ravel Morrison

Successful Dribbles per game
Fabian Delph 1.8 - 2.1 Ravel Morrison
Gabriel Agbonlahor 1.1 - 2 Mohamed Diamé
Marc Albrighton 1 - 1.3 Mark Noble
Antonio Luna 0.8 - 0.9 Stewart Downing
Yacouba Sylla 0.8 - 0.8 Guy Demel

Tackles per game
Fabian Delph 3.2 - 2.6 Mark Noble
Karim El Ahmadi 3.2 - 2.5 Mohamed Diamé
Leandro Bacuna 2.5 - 2.4 James Collins
Antonio Luna 2.3 - 2 Kevin Nolan
Ron Vlaar 2 - 1.8 Winston Reid

Aerial Duels Won per game
Christian Benteke 7.7 - 4.4 James Tomkins
Libor Kozak 3 - 3.5 James Collins
Nathan Baker 2.6 - 2.9 Winston Reid
Ciaran Clark 2.2 - 2.4 Carlton Cole
Jordan Bowery 1.8 - 1.5 George McCartney

Paul Lambert - Sam Allardyce
32.8% Current Club Win % 40.1%
24 Won 49
17 Drawn 32
32 Lost 41

40.8% Managerial Career Win % 39.7%
162 Won 343
95 Drawn 231
140 Lost 288

1 League Titles 2

0 Cup Wins 0

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