Statistical Preview: Aston Villa vs West Ham

A battling performance from Aston Villa was not quite enough to prevent them slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Leandro Bacuna had opened the scoring with a neat finish, but it was a superb freekick from Kevin Mirallas which settled matters to leave Villa 10th in the league.


Unsurprisingly, Christian Benteke has continued to be Aston Villa’s most consistent threat in front of goal this season, the big front man starting to find some of his most potent form. No player in the Villa squad can top his 37 attempts on goal this campaign according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.


Feeding Benteke for much of this season has been his partner in crime, Andreas Weimann, the Austrian providing guile to complement Benteke’s power. Not only does he lead the Villa squad for assists this term (4), he’s also completed the third highest total number of attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) for Villa this season (52). If he gets the ball in dangerous positions this weekend he could be a real handful for the West Ham defence. Benteke is 11/10 to score at any time this weekend with


‘Concrete Ron’ has been living up to his moniker this season, compling some highly impressive defensive statistics. Not only does Vlaar have the second highest total the Villa squad for defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, tackles won, interceptions)(184), he’s also won a superb 86.4% of his tackles this season whilst only conceding 6 fouls.


With Andy Carroll suspended, disrupting the play of Kevin Nolan could be pivotal to the Villa’s chances of success this weekend. Key to this strategy will be Karim El Ahmadi who has been hunting down opponents all season in the Villa midfield. He’s attempted more tackles than any other Villa player this term with 90, winning an excellent 76% of them.


A brace from captain Kevin Nolan secured what could prove to be a crucial three points for Sam Allardyce’s West Ham, as they beat Swansea 2-0 last weekend. There was still a major black spot on the day for Hammers fans though as Andy Carroll was sent off following a controversial altercation with Chico Flores.


As mentioned, with their main target man unavailable, Kevin Nolan will likely be one of the main goal threats this weekend. He is the Hammers’ joint top goal scorer with 4, and he remains their most prolific midfield shooter with 29 attempts to him name according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.


Mark Noble remains West Ham’s most effective distributor of the ball this season, but what is remarkable is just how far ahead of his teammates he currently is in this regard. Noble has completed an admirable 625 passes in the opponent’s half this term, at an average rate of one every 3.3 minutes, yet his nearest colleague (Stewart Downing) is a full 336 passes behind him. Sam Allardyce will surely be hoping for a more even distribution of the midfield workload for the remainder of the season.


When on the pitch, Matt Jarvis has provided some much needed width and effective service to his frontmen. He’s whipped in 16 crosses so far this season, with 4 assists to his name. Jarvis is an industry best 8/1 to get on the score-sheet himself and score at any time this weekend with


No player has been more defensively committed to the West Ham cause than James Collins this season. He leads the Hammers’ squad for blocks with 29 and with Christian Benteke to contend with this weekend, you get the feeling he’ll need to be as equally committed to contain the imposing Belgian.