Friday, 22 August 2014

Crystal Palace vs West Ham United

Saturday 23rd August 2014
Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace vs West Ham United

The best way to make up for a disappointing derby defeat is to follow it up with a derby victory, yes?

After a week filled with ice bucket challenges to cool them down, the West Ham side take on a Crystal Palace team in the midst of a circus. With last year's manager of the year Tony Pulis walking out on the eve of the season, and would-be successor Malky "it was just banter, honest" Mackay turning out to be a bit of a bad guy and falling out of the running, it would appear that Palace are in a bit of a bad place.

But that means nothing.

Last time we visited Selhurst Park, Palace had one just twice all season, Marouane Chamakh was still regarded as one of the worst strikers in the division and yet we someone conspired to achieve a dismal one nil defeat to that rarest of sites, a Chamakh winner.

So let's take this one seriously.

Key Player
Though Chamakh was obviously the match winner in this fixture last year, Palace's key player is the man who won the return fixture - skipper Mile Jedinak.

The Australian midfielder is a warrior in the middle of the park, as West Ham found out at the Boleyn back in April.

Jedinak not only scored the winner penalty (his only goal of the season, obviously) but he dominated the middle of the park, giving absolutely no change to Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan or Mohamed Diamé. 

In that game, Jedinak was successful with 100% of his tackles, won 7 out of 10 aerial duels, made three interceptions and 13 clearances. It was an all round performance of the highest quality from the Aussie.

The image below shows Jedinak's touches in that game. As you can see, he rarely ventured out of his half, and produced a phenomenal defensive display.

But Jedinak is more than a simple defensive midfielder, he is also a driving force in the middle of the field when required, getting forward and creating for his team mates.

In total last season, the Palace skipper was successful with an impressive 59% of his attempted take ons.

But the more impressive stat is that only Jason Puncheon created more chances for his team mates than Jedinak last season. In total, the midfielder created 34 chances, bagging one assist.

And you can see from the image below, that these were rarely from aimless punts forward. Jedinak created 15 chances from either in or just outside of the penalty area, and further 10 from just the central of the park.

How do you stop Palace?
The key attacking players for the Eagles are Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie on the flanks. Fortunately for West Ham, Puncheon is suspended, Bolasie is a box of tricks that can cause teams real trouble when he hit's his stride.

The last time we played Palace, Bolasie created 4 chances during the game, demonstrating what a danger he can be.

Interestingly, the last time Bolasie failed to create any chances in a home game was the last time they lost at home in the league, and also the last time they failed to score (I'm excluding the Manchester City game, by the way).

Against Southampton at the start of March, the English winger was unable to get any change from Nathaniel Clyne and José Fonte, who doubled up on the flank to stop him driving into the box and creating. You can see from their attempted tackles below (the majority of which were on Bolasie) that they refused to allow him to enter the box from the wide areas.

This appears to have been a specific gameplan from the Saints, as Jason Puncheon (arguably the more dangerous of the pair) was not treated in the same manner by Dejan Lovren and Luke Shaw.

The approach of stopping wide players like Bolasie from getting to the byline meant Palace delivered a high number of crosses from deeper areas - attempting 30 during the game. This figure is well up from their seasonal average of just 19 per game.

And this change of tactic led to Palace also taking far fewer shots than usual, attempting just 6 throughout the game, compared to a seasonal average of 10.9 - a figure that rose to 11.4 in home games only.

Keeping the wide men quiet on Saturday afternoon, stopping them from reaching the byline and driving into the box, is likely to be the most effective way of stopping Palace from attacking West Ham with any kind of regular success.

Palace's main weakness is that they are not very good on the ball.

Last season, they averaged the least possession of all teams, and also averaged the lowest pass success rate (West Ham were second worst in both categories, by the way). However, whilst West Ham appear to have had a slight change in methodology if the Spurs game is anything to go by, Palace are still operating similar methods.

Against Arsenal last weekend, Palace had a passing success rate of just a meager 58%.

You can see from the image below that the Eagles often resorted to long balls, that tended to be very unsuccessful, meaning the kept gifting possession back to Arsenal.

This inability to retain possession is a real flaw in an otherwise well drilled Palace side, and one that West Ham must look to capitalise upon.

However, looking back to the home fixture last year, West Ham were unable to turn that dominance (58% possession) into chances, with just 10 attempts on goal throughout.

 Head to Head 
29% Head to Head Win % 41%
21 Won 30
22 Drawn 22
30 Lost 21
93 Goals Scored 129
129 Goals Conceded 93

 Recent Form (excl. Friendlies) 
W W L D D L Last 6 L L L W L L
9 Goals Scored 3
9 Goals Conceded 8
L L W W L D Home/Away Form L L W L L L
7 Goals Scored 4
10 Goals Conceded 11
 Form Player (excl. GK) 
 (Last 6 League) 
Mile Jedinak - Mark Noble
6 Appearances 6
508 Minutes Played 540
201 Sum Squawka Performance Score 145
34 Average Squawka Performance Rating 24
210 Passes Attempted 366
144 Completed 308
69% Success Rate 84%
2 Chances Created 8
1 Assists 0
2 Attempts on Goal 2
2 On Target 1
1 Goals 0

3 Take Ons Attempted 3
2 Successful Take Ons 2
67% Success Rate 67%
36 Tackles Made 36
21 Successful Tackles 21
58% Success Rate 58%
21 Interceptions 10
29 Clearances 11
4 Blocks 5
9 Defensive Actions Per Game 4
32 Aerial Duels 4
20 Won 3
63% Success Rate 75%

0 Defensive Errors 1
0 Leading to a Goal 0
 Last Meeting 
19 April 2014
0-1 Mile Jedinak 59'

4-3-3 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1

Julian Speroni - Adrián
Adrian Mariappa - George McCartney
Scott Dann - James Tomkins
Damien Delaney - Winston Reid
Joel Ward - Pablo Armero
Kagisho Dikgacoi - Mark Noble
Mile Jedinak - Mohamed Diamé
Joe Ledley - Stewart Downing (77')
(86') Jason Puncheon - Kevin Nolan (84')
(81') Cameron Jerome - Matt Jarvis (69')
(90') Yannick Bolasie - Andy Carroll

Wayne Hennessey - Jussi Jääskeläinen
(86') Danny Gabbidon - Roger Johnson
(90') Jonathan Parr - Joey O'Brien
Adlene Guedioura - Matthew Taylor
Thomas Ince - Antonio Nocerino (84')
Dwight Gayle - Joe Cole (77')
(81') Glenn Murray - Carlton Cole (69')

Crystal Palace: Scott Dann, Adrian Mariappa, Jonathan Williams, Jerome Thomas
West Ham United: James tomkins, Carl Jenkinson, Ravel Morrison, Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll

Crystal Palace: Jason Puncheon
West Ham United: James Collins

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

  Julian Speroni

  Martin Kelly  Scott Dann (75')  Brede Hangeland  Joel Ward

  Mile Jedinak  Joe Ledley

  Jason Puncheon (89')  Marouane Chamakh  Yannick Bolasie (90')

  Fraizer Campbell (85')

Wayne Hennessey
  Paddy McCarthy
  Damien Delaney (75')
  Stuart O'Keefe (90')
  Barry Bannan
  Dwight Gayle (85')
  Glenn Murray
 Best Player: Mile Jedinak(SR: 41)
 Worst Player: Jason Puncheon(SR: -48)
 Top 5's (Last Season) 
 Goals Scored 
Jason Puncheon 7 - 7 Kevin Nolan
Dwight Gayle 7 - 6 Carlton Cole
Marouane Chamakh 5 - 4 Mohamed Diamé
Joe Ledley 2 - 3 Joe Cole
Cameron Jerome 2 - 3 Ravel Morrison

Yannick Bolasie 4 - 5 Kevin Nolan
Joel Ward 2 - 4 Andy Carroll
Marouane Chamakh 2 - 4 Mark Noble
Jason Puncheon 2 - 3 Matt Jarvis
Barry Bannan 1 - 2 Stewart Downing

 Passing Accuracy 
Stuart O'Keefe 88.2% - 86.4% Ravel Morrison
Jerome Thomas 84.2% - 82.8% Mark Noble
Joe Ledley 80.7% - 81.3% Jack Collison
Jason Puncheon 78.4% - 80.6% Stewart Downing
Kagisho Dikgacoi 77.3% - 79.5% Joey O'Brien

 Chances Created per game 
Barry Bannan 1.5 - 1.9 Stewart Downing
Jason Puncheon 1.4 - 1.5 Mark Noble
Jerome Thomas 1.1 - 1 Andy Carroll
Thomas Ince 1.1 - 0.9 Kevin Nolan
Marouane Chamakh 1.1 - 0.9 Matt Jarvis

 Successful Dribbles per game 
Yannick Bolasie 2.6 - 2.1 Ravel Morrison
Jason Puncheon 1.6 - 2.1 Mohamed Diamé
Joel Ward 0.8 - 1.1 Stewart Downing
Marouane Chamakh 0.8 - 1 Guy Demel
Jerome Thomas 0.7 - 0.9 Mark Noble

 Tackles per game 
Mile Jedinak 3.5 - 2.9 Mark Noble
Joe Ledley 2.8 - 2.1 Mohamed Diamé
Jason Puncheon 2.6 - 2 James Collins
Dean Moxey 2.1 - 1.8 Matthew Taylor
Adrian Mariappa 2 - 1.8 Kevin Nolan

 Aerial Duels Won per game 
Marouane Chamakh 5 - 8.9 Andy Carroll
Mile Jedinak 4.4 - 5.9 Modibo Maïga
Damien Delaney 2.8 - 4 James Tomkins
Cameron Jerome 2.8 - 3.5 James Collins
Danny Gabbidon 2.8 - 2.2 Carlton Cole

Keith Millen - Sam Allardyce
 Current Club 
20% Win % 39.5%
1 Won 55
1 Drawn 32
3 Lost 52
0 League Titles 0
0 Cup Wins 0
14/08/2014 Appointed 01/06/2011
2d Time in Charge 3y 76d
 Managerial Career 
32.8% Win % 39.7%
24 Won 349
17 Drawn 231
32 Lost 299

2 Sides Managed 7
0 League Titles 2
0 Cup Wins 0
Bristol City First Managerial Role Preston North End
11/09/2005 Start Date 30/09/1992
8y 339d Experience 21y 319d