My team ranking system puts West Ham as the thirteenth best team, but I feel like lately they have played better than that ranking. Arsenal are the fifth best team in my current rankings.
Where they shoot from
West Ham take a total of 12 shots per match (12th). With 5.6 of those shots coming from the danger zone area per match (7th) and that makes up 47% of their total shots. They take 2.1 shots per match from the wide box areas (12th, 17% of total) and 4.3 from outside the box (16th, 35.8% of total).
How they create shots
76% of their shots are assisted
73% of their shots come from open play
11.3% of their shots are assisted by a cross
10.4% of their shots come from a fast/direct attack
3.8% of their shots are classified as counter attacks by Opta
3.8% of their shots follow corner kicks
7.1% of their shots are assisted by through balls
11.7% of their shots are from direct free kicks
Who creates their offense
The xG for West Ham is pretty evenly shared, I did not expect that.
The Hammers have a conversion rate of 11.7% with an xG per shot of 0.11, for an efficiency rating of 106% which is the seventh highest in the league.
They are putting an above average amount of their shots on target (38.5%) and converting about an average rate 30.1% conversion compared to 30% for the league as a whole. The Ham’s (is that a thing, it should be a thing) have a big chance conversion rate of 41.7% which is tenth best in the league and just about even with the league average of 39%.
Felipe Anderson is good, and Arsenal should try to stop him from doing good offensive things.
Where they give up shots from
West Ham are allowing 12.9 shots per match (12th fewest) with 5.95 per match coming from the danger zone (14th fewest), 1.6 shots per match from the wide box areas (4th fewest) and 5.4 shots per match from outside the box (14th fewest). They block 25.5% of the shots they face (9th highest block rate).
Overall this season, they have generally been fortunate in the number of goals conceded from the shots that they have given up. They have over performed their Shot Placement xG allowed by the third highest margin in the league so far (behind Cardiff City and Tottenham). Former gunner Lukasz Fabianski is having a good season.
How they defend
On defense, the Hammers are not an especially active team in racking up defensive counting statistics. They average just 30.8 defensive actions per match (tackles, interceptions, dribbled past, fouls) which is the 12th highest mark in the league.
The stats show that they are also one of the teams that press the least, with 14.1 Passes Allowed per Defensive Action overall which is the fifth highest number of passes allowed per action. In the opponents half they press a little more but only move to 10th at 12.3 Passes Allowed per Defensive Action.
That is good news for Arsenal’s midfield which always seems to struggle against teams that press them.
Match Simulation and Title Odds
Arsenal are pretty heavy favorites in this match according to my simulation model, much more than my gut says that they should be. I hope that the numbers are correct.
A win here is important for Arsenal’s rapidly shrinking top four odds, they really cannot afford to drop points to teams that they are favorites in if they want to get back into the Champions League via a top four spot.