Friday, 1 May 2015

Are Watford any better than the Cherries?

We won't be able to say for sure who is the best until results come in on 2nd May, and while AFCB sit second in the Championship table there is more than just a little bit of me that would not mind taking some of the grins off the Hornets who I still remember giving the Cherries a hard time of it last season at Vicarage Road. Walking out of Vicarage Road was pretty hard when you team has been given a lesson, but the great thing is that AFCB grew from that and just got stronger.

At the time, many AFCB fans perhaps wondered if the team was good enough to survive a season in the Championship. True, a 6-1 defeat was pretty heavy. Still the sides' stories have been a bit different this season when they have met and when you look at the overall stats for the season does one team perhaps have a few more number ones in its stats?
Could Mr Deeney and co have an off day?
I came across a site that some of you might know called which has some excellent stats on all the teams in the Championship among many other leagues (they use Opta stats), but it was AFCB and Watford that I was keen to have a closer look at. The goal record of both teams is what fans can probably see has got them both promoted and AFCB's 61 goals coming in open play tells you a little about how Eddie Howe's team plays, but it is more than matched by Watford in percentage terms. AFCB score less from set-pieces but are well ahead in the penalty stakes 11 successful attempts to five.

Bournemouth lead the possession stats with 58 per cent compared to Watford's 51 per cent in games. Pass success rate is also exceptional at the Cherries where they have a 79 per cent rate compared to Watford's 76 per cent. Shots per game are also higher with AFCB 5.9 compared to 5.5. Defensively too the Cherries appear stronger with 11.5 shots conceded per game compared to the Hornet's 14. In the air too AFCB have the advantage with aerial duals won hitting 21.3 per game to Watford's 16.6

When it comes to interceptions though it is Watford that are ahead on 15.8 a game compared to the Cherries' 15.2. Tackles are similarly a strong point of Watford with 16.9 per game compared to AFCB's 16.1. 

You can have some fun looking at all the different parameters on which to judge the two teams, but in the end it just comes down to who gets the most points and this Saturday we will find out. All I can say is congratulations to both teams on great seasons and it will be fantastic to be able to sit back and watch the play-offs to see who joins them in the Premier League.

Cherry Chimes' May Newsletter is out today and features the top stories from the blog in April to recall how AFCB reached the top flight. Stories include 90 minutes away from the Premier League and Fairy tales really do come true.

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