West Ham v Man City Preview

Week 7 in the Premier League. How will City fare in a game sandwiched between International Week and the Upcoming Champions League Fixture? And can City fix this away form funk.

Betting

West Ham 9/2 Draw 13/5 Man City 13/20

Handicap

West Ham +0.5, +1 2.000

Man City -0.5,-1 1.900

Until man City prove otherwise, I wouldn't trust them to make good on that line when playing away from The Fortress.

Stuff

Ground: Boleyn Ground, East london

Time 17:30 BST

Referee: no idea

Injuries

West Ham

Carrol, Diarra, Collins, Joe Cole?

Man City

Kompany, DeMichelis, Rodwell. Kolarov may return following his boxers cut.

One To Watch

For this section i am going to try something completely different. I am going to put up some information on which players have had the most involvement in team shot creation (taking a shot or assisting a shot) when on the field of play.

West Ham

Downing, in limited minutes, is West Ham's leader in terms of shot influence when on the field of play. Maiga has underwhelmed for a lone center forward, whilst Nolan and Morrison have chipped in with decent numbers for non-striker/winger players.

West Ham may well be a team who creates by committee with no one player posing a notable threat.

Man City

Now, most of Man City's attacking options have been rotated throughout these early weeks and thus these percentages will take time to settle down but listing the amount of shots each player has been on the field for may help us:

Dzeko 49

Silva 53

Aguero 67

Nasri 67

Negredo 80

Dzeko has been on the field for the lowest number of shots, hence why his percentage number may take time to settle. Interestingly, Negredo is the forward with the highest number of team shots when on the field of play.

Selection

West Ham, like Man City, have few injuries to contend with and with no mid-week fixture following Saturdays game, the Hammers likely don't have to contend with any thoughts about rotation or freshness. Man City, on the other hand, have to think about a tricky away trip in Moscow on Wednesday and it'll be interesting to see how that affects Pellegrini's selection for this away trip.

Will the City manager field a full strength side for the West ham game? Will it be horses for courses? Or, will he rest Aguero and Silva with an eye on a very important three points in Moscow?

My guess is he may rest a few players for the West Ham game, the wisdom of that is up for debate.

Team Efficiency

Raw Shots

West Ham have slightly sub-par shots and shots on target ratios so far:

TSR 47.1%

SoTR 45.2%

Whereas Man City are pretty darn good by the same measures:

TSR 64.9%

SoTR 66.1%

Basically these numbers mean that Man City have been out-shooting their opponents by a healthy margin in their first 7 games, West Ham are being slightly out-shot by their opponents.

Shots On Target Efficiency

This chart shows us how efficient West ham are getting their own shots on target and preventing the opposition from doing likewise.

When looking across the game states (Tied, down by a goal, up by a goal etc) we see that across all game states West ham are not very good at getting their own shots on target (league average ~32%).

But defensively, West Ham are excellent; at Tied GS West ham are strangling the opposition with a 75% prevention numbers (league average ~ 68%). Even more troublesome for West Ham's opponents is what happens if West Ham take the lead: when West Ham are one goal up (Plus 1 GS) they restrict the opposition to such an extent that they only get ~19% of their shots on target.

Man City's numbers look slightly different to West Ham's. City are super efficient at getting their own shots on target across the game states, but City are bang on average at preventing the opposition from getting their shots on target at Tied GS. At Plus 1 game state, Man City have prevented just 22% of the opposition total shots from getting on target which has to, and will, get better.

Final thoughts

In short, this fixture pits two very different teams in terms of talent level and shots ability against one another. City are the dominant shots side, oozing with talented options, whilst West Ham are a slightly sub-par shots team who are doing some great things in terms of restricting the opposition from getting shots on target.

West Ham's defensive ability is brilliant thus far but it's hampering their ability to create and outscore the opposition (save the Tottenham fixture).

City have quite the task of unlocking West Ham's well organized, restrictive defense, but the Blues may just have the talent, and the options, to do so.

Gut Prediction West Ham 0-2 Man City

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