Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s win against West Ham.
Brentford switched back to a 4-3-3 with West Ham having the third lowest average percentage of possession in the Premier League. Ivan Toney missed out due to a hamstring injury. Wissa, Schade and Mbeumo led the line while Jensen and Janelt were joined by Damsgaard in the midfield. No changes to Brentford’s usual back 4, but Ajer back on the bench after working his way back from injury.
West Ham came out in a 4-2-3-1 against the Bees. They made seven changes from their Thursday night match against AZ Alkmaar. Benrahma, Paqueta and Rice all started on the bench, while Danny Ings started up top. Ogbonna and Aguerd were the centerback pairing with Emerson and Johnson the fullbacks.
Possession: Brentford 53% – 47% West Ham
xG: Brentford 3.4 – 0.2 West Ham
Shots: Brentford 24 – 4 West Ham
Clearances: Brentford 15 – 26 West Ham
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 18 (49%)
Brentford didn’t skip a beat with Ivan Toney sitting out due to injury. Brentford last played without Ivan against Liverpool on January 2nd. They were able to beat Liverpool 3-1, but in a completely different tactical style using counter attacks. It was refreshing to see Brentford more than capable of playing with the majority of possession.
The Bees didn’t do anything out of the ordinary when out of possession. They were pressing when able to force West Ham backwards. Then if West Ham were able to progress the ball past the halfway line, Brentford would settle into their 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 at times. Brentford’s front 3 have crucial defensive responsibilities and they did not disappoint. Even with Brentford holding more possession, they still ended with more tackles and interceptions than West Ham.
Brentford created the most xG they have all season, and doing so with 53% possession. It’s difficult to take away too much from Brentford’s performance with West Ham resting so many starters. West Ham struggled out of possession and made some simple errors to gift Brentford some high xG chances.