It’s always one of the most keenly-contested derbies in English football, on and off the pitch, West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur and that rivalry will be renewed in the Premier League at London Stadium this afternoon.
In the build-up to the meeting of Manuel Pellegrini’s men and Mauricio Pochettino’s men and with the help of our good friends over at footballfancast.com, we analyse how the two teams and the two managers square up and look head-to-head, based on previous encounters. Join us.
For the first phase of our statistical analysis and thanks to the below graphic from FootballFanCast, we are going to be taking an in-depth look at the teams’ head-to-head records in the Premier League.
As you can see with all of these stats, which FFF pulled from transfermarkt.com and the Premier League’s official website, there is very little to choose between the outfits, despite the current perceived gulf-in-class.
The two players featured either side of the stats block are West Ham club-record signing Felipe Anderson and Tottenham’s main man and England captain, Harry Kane.
This will be the first time in his career that Anderson, formerly of the Brazilian national team, has faced off with Spurs, while Kane is no stranger to the Hammers, scoring seven in his last seven against them.
In terms of wins in the PL in this fixture, unsurprisingly, Tottenham have the upper hand on West Ham, with 21 victories to their 14, the hosts will be eager to close the gap today.
The Lilywhites have also scored more when meeting with the Irons than vice-versa, with an impressive 63 to their 52, while they have kept just two more clean sheets, with 13.
The East Londoners have by far been the more cynical when this derby has been renewed down the years, totalling up an unwanted seven red cards, the North Londoners have just three, one of which was Serge Aurier’s in this fixture last season. However, it didn’t stop them from leaving with a tense 2-3 victory.
Interestingly, there is one stat that the home team comes out on top in and it’s our final one, win rate at the venue, which in this case, refers to both the Boleyn Ground and London Stadium. The Hammers have certainly been better when on home turf, claiming local bragging rights 45 per cent of the time, that’s four more % than their opponents.
For the second stage of our statistics-driven tactical analysis, instead of comparing the two teams, we will compare the two managers to see who comes out on top, just giving them a physiological edge for this afternoon.
As you can see from the graphic, once again provided by FFC, while Spurs may get the better of the Hammers in terms of team head-to-heads, the story is a different one when it comes to the managers.
Here, as evident from the stats which have been obtained from TransferMarkt, Pellegrini is the clear winner against the Argentine when it comes to every single stat, which should give him confidence in his and his team’s abilities today.
Of the 11 meetings between the two bosses, which mostly came when Pellegrini was manager of Manchester City and Pochettino was in charge of Southampton and in his Lilywhites early days, the former has nine wins to the latter’s two.
Pellegrini’s sides have scored over double the amount Pochettino’s have against him, impressive considering the fact that they are both renowned as attacking managers, 25 to his 11.
The Chilean has the far superior clean sheet record against his South American compatriot, too, with six to his one, showing that he has edged both the offensive and defensive battles.
Usually, the 64-year-old prefers a 4-3-3 formation, a modified version of which we are currently seeing week-in-week-out in East London and it will be coming up against the trademark 4-2-3-1 of Pochettino this afternoon, which will make for an interesting battle, to say the least.
Over their managerial careers so far, the more experienced of the duo has picked up a gargantuan number of trophies, racking up an incredible ten, whilst the gaffer 19 years his junior is yet to lift a trophy as a gaffer.
Often the only criticism of the four-year reign of “Poch” so far in North London is the fact that he is yet to end Spurs’ long wait for a trophy, in spite of them becoming regular top-four and title contenders under him.
Meanwhile, on Pellegrini’s silver-plated resume lies such trophies as the Premier League title and the League Cup, both of which he has two of, along with league titles all across the world.
While there is the argument that Pochettino could be twice the manager Pellegrini is when he reaches his ripe old age, as it stands, there can be little denying that the veteran wins this battle, all day long. But will it transpire like that on the London Stadium pitch?
In conclusion, our analysis today has found that a combination of how the two teams, who are separated by ten places in the Premier League table, weigh up and how their managers compare leads us to believe it will be an even encounter in East London.
This one really could go either way, history would suggest that the Hammers are going to continue their impressive home form against Spurs, but the current gap between them in terms of league position and overall quality would suggest otherwise. However, one thing is for sure, it will be a special occasion at London Stadium today.