|Player||Successful Passes||Total Passes||Unsuccessful Passes||Key Passes||Assists||Goals||Shots||Take-Ons||Take-On Success %||Unsuccessful Take-Ons||Minutes||Possessions Used||Usage Rate||Positive Outcomes||Negative Outcomes||% Positive|
Last season, the now-departed Matt Ritchie had the highest usage rate of regular starters on the team, and Jordon Ibe appears to be filling his role quite nicely this season. He even has the most shots on the team, though it should be noted most of his shots are outside the box and only one is on target. Beyond Ibe though, this has the look of a pretty dysfunctional attack. Francis is the next highest playing primarily as a center-back (!!!!), which has predictably resulted in few positive outcomes (4%). You'll note the other attacking players, particularly Wilson and King, have fairly low usage rates despite having a high percentage of the possessions they use have positive results.
Pep said in his press conference he was worried about Bournemouth's strikers, which is reasonable, but I just don't think the supply will be there. The individual stats point to a side that is decent in possession but struggles to find their forward men, relying on volume of possession to produce a respectable shots total. The team stats back that up as Bournemouth are averaging over 50% possession in this young season (and did last year as well), but rank just 13th in SOG/TOP. I very much doubt that they will get anywhere near that 50% possession figure against Pep's City, so it could be a very long day for them. If City can contain the right-sided linking of Francis, Smith, and Ibe on the counter, I don't really see a way for Bournemouth to score here.
Of course, the wild card is Jack Wilshere. I think the on-loan Arsenal man is actually a good fit for this Bournemouth team, as his high-usage/low-efficiency tendencies won't be a problem if he's taking possessions away from players like Francis and Smith with even worse high-usage/low efficiency tendencies in more problematic positions. Whatever his faults as a player or his health issues, there's no doubt that Bournemouth don't have anyone nearly as suited to link midfield and attack the way he can. Unfortunately, we only have 28 minutes of data on him as a Bournemouth player, and he's been injured so long we can't really establish his level of play. I think they'll need him to have a great game in order to get something out of this.
Defensively, they're okay at limiting shots on target, but they a very high percentage of those on-target shots become goals. I think that is partly due to Boruc, who had a terrible year at keeper last year, and partly due to shot locations (look at the xG maps here and here for good examples). Surman and Arter are not anyone's idea of a defensively tough midfield, so I'd expect City to run riot, even without Aguero and Silva (something we could not have realistically said much over the past few years).
The Monchengladbach game showed City playing well against a good team. I'm very excited to see City playing well against a bad team, and I'm thinking Bournemouth will be the first taste.
Post a Comment