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Talking Tactics

Benrahma ready for starting spot against Everton

Adrian Clarke 6 May 2021
Said Benrahma

Adrian Clarke says Algerian's ability to produce moments of magic can be decisive

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points in Matchweek 35.

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While Said Benrahma has yet to score his first Premier League goal, there can be no denying his growing influence at West Ham United.

A sublime cross for Michail Antonio to score the decisive goal at Burnley last Monday was his fifth assist of the season.

It followed a pattern of positive results from West Ham whenever the 25-year-old has been included in their starting XI.

Taking all three points in eight of the 12 matches Benrahma has started, losing just once, the Algerian has been a lucky charm for David Moyes.

With him they tend to create extra opportunities and score more goals.

Benrahma West Ham stats
2020/21 Benrahma starts Others
Matches 12 22
Goals/90 1.7 1.5
Shots/90 14.5 10.6
Chances created/90 10.6 7.6
Win ratio % 66.6% 40.9%
Points per match 2.2 1.4

Benrahma's inswinging cross for Antonio at Turf Moor was a moment that had been coming, given he has created more chances for the forward than any other team-mate

Burnley 1-2 West Ham highlights

As soon as Benrahma goes back on to his right foot, Sunday’s opponents Everton will certainly need to keep close tabs on Antonio inside the area.

Who Benrahma sets up most
Team-mate Assist for Chances created for
Michail Antonio 1 7
Tomas Soucek 2 5
Declan Rice 0 3
Jarrod Bowen 1 2
Jesse Lingard 0 2
Pablo Fornals 0 2

It is interesting to note that Moyes has only ever named Benrahma in a Premier League starting line-up when either Antonio (nine matches) or Sebastien Haller (three) were available.

His guile and technique around the box makes him an ideal supplier for a natural centre-forward who makes quality runs.

Ready to start?

The excellent form of Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Jesse Lingard has limited Benrahma's playing time.

All three fit in well with Moyes' tactical approach but when you look at some of Benrahma's numbers, he can count himself quite unlucky not to have started more than 12 times.

Benrahma's creative statistics 
2020/21 Per 90 WHU rank
Chances created 1.7 1st
Chances created in open play 1.7 1st
Succ. passes into final third 12.7 1st
Dribbles completed 2.8 1st

The 25-year-old is the most imaginative member of the squad, an excellent passer and capable of beating his man with a clever dribble.

Based on his terrific display at Burnley, it will be difficult for Moyes to leave Benrahma out for the visit of Everton to the London Stadium.

If Benrahma continues to make the most of his opportunities, putting him the starting XI going forward will be a foregone conclusion.

Also in this series

Part 1: Bale and Dele can keep Leeds on the back foot
Part 2: Tuchel's game plan can delay City's title win
Part 4: Wood can power Burnley to victory at Fulham

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