What a night in the ELF! As we all know the 3-1 win against Arsenal progresses the Hammers into the last 8 of the ELF cup. However it’s time to look back to the league, for our fixture against Brentford.
Game week 11 has The Hammers head across London to face Brentford at the Gtech Community stadium. Brentford have won their last two games coming into this fixture (2-0 against Chelsea and 3-0 against burnley) so have good form. So far they’ve put in some impressive performances against top sides like Spurs (ended 2-2 draw) and a goal-fest against Aston Villa (3-3 draw).
What do the stats say?
We’ve all heard of expected goals, if not then its the expected amount of goals a team is expected to score throughout the match. For example, a penalty has a 75% of going in, therefore being awarded one adds 0.75 to the expected goals. An unlikely long shot might only add 0.05 to the expected goal tally as it only has a 5% chance of going in, whereas a tap in might add 0.95 to the tally as it’s 95% likely to go in. Now that’s sorted, have you heard of expected points?
Expected Points indicates how many points a team could have Expected to have taken from a game, based on the scoring opportunities that they created and conceded in a game. The more dominant a side is, the more expected points (xP) they will take from the match.
However, you never see one team would collect the entire 3xP from a match. Dominant teams normally receive between 2.1xP and 2.8xP, while teams who are dominated will collect around 0.1xP to 0.5xP.
On the Expected points (xP) tally, Brentford are 8th in the league with 17.19 points, far above West Ham who are in 14th with 10.91 points. So what does this tell us?
In short, the stats say Brentford are favourites for this game and have not gotten the points they “deserve” so far this season. Now stats should be taken with a pinch of salt as football isn’t all numbers, it has emotion, superstition, in-form and off-form, injuries, suspensions and rubbish refereeing decisions.
What to look out for?
Mbeumo has been called the Fantasy Premier league pick of the season, and with scoring 6 goals its easy to see why. The Cameroonian is small (1.71m) and feisty. His play is characterised by sprints, agility and otherwise energetic play. He is sure to keep defenders working all game long.
Use your head:
Both sides are among the best in the Premier League when it comes to using their heads. The Hammers have had a staggering number of attempts from headers, with 34 throughout the season, just two more than Brentford on 32 (Luton Town have the most with 36).
Brentford haven’t been too clinical with their attempt however, as they have only converted 2 headers so far. West Ham on the other side have been far more clinical, converting 5 (joint most in the league with Nottingham Forest). So expect to see crosses flying in the back of the net.
West Ham without key players:
Paqueta and Alverez have been key players in the middle of the park for West Ham. However they both picked up a 5th yellow card in the loss against Everton. This could be a difficult problem for Moyes to fix as they’ve both featured in the vast majority of games this season.
Alverez should make way for Souček, which is not too much of a loss for the team as Souček has looked great when he has featured this season. However Paqueta might leave a bigger gap in attacking talent. We can expect kudos to start, with Bowen too, where Bowen looked great as a number 9 against Arsenal. However Bowen will likely have to move back to the right side to make way for Antonio, which is a change I am in fervour for, as I mentioned Antonio’s strength in headers could make the difference for West Ham.
I can see Brentford having most of the ball, with Moyes adopting his usual counter attack system. I think both teams will be evenly matched, making for a great watch. This one is hard to call, and West Ham have very been hot or cold this season, but I can see this game ending in a draw. Which against an ever impressive Brentford at home, isn’t to be looked down on. I’m going with a 2-2 draw, Come on you Hammers!
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