Premier League Fouls Sheet
Crystal Palace v West Ham
Two of the Premier League’s old-timers have done the business to haul their teams away from trouble with six and seven games left to play.
Roy Hodgson came into Crystal Palace with a bang, winning his first three matches in charge and accruing ten points from five games overall.
Key to their form has been the freedom within structure given to his exciting, creative talents in the final third, Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Jordan Ayew trusted to play without fear and shining. That fearlessness has seen the trio fouled at least twice in four of their five outings under Hodgson.
David Moyes has seen his West Ham United side reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League but their league form has also improved since the turn of the year, the Hammers winning and drawing five of their last 15 to pull five points clear with a game in hand.
His side are low on the list when it comes to cards and fouls but that doesn’t apply to Vladimir Coufal, the Czech Republic international averaging one foul per both this season and last. That enjoyment for a tackle has increased recently, Coufal committing a foul in ten of his last 13 matches and at least two in six of those.
Opposition right-backs have conceded a foul in each of their last four matches and at least two in their last three. Coufal is in the firing line and could find himself up against Ayew, Eze or Schlupp, who has also been fouled in four of his last five matches and twice in two of those.
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest picked up a huge three points in their bid for survival and they will need to be at their gritty best to get anything against a Brentford side they competed with for years in the Championship.
It won’t be easy. Thomas Frank has done a remarkable job at Brentford, taking the Bees into the Premier League and following it up with what will almost certainly be a top-half finish.
It is exactly what Nottingham Forest aspire to. They currently sit a point above the bottom three and are the lowest scorers in the division.
Morgan Gibbs-White is key to their chances of survival and the ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers youngster has scored in his last two games. He’s also not afraid to commit a foul, doing so in 11 of his last 16 games and two or more in six of those.
He’s a prime candidate to make a foul here whether he starts as the attacking midfielder behind the front two or from the left-hand side of a front three.
Brentford have seen their oppositions most attacking midfielder and left-winger make a foul in each of their last four matches. Christian Norgaard may be missing but Frank Onyeka has been fouled in seven of his last eight league starts and Mathias Jensen in eight of his last ten.
Brighton v Wolves
Brighton and Hove Albion could cut the gap on the three sides above them to one and two points with victory here, knowing they have the advantage of two and three games in hand in the battle for a European place.
For Wolverhampton Wanderers, victory would take them to the magic 40-point mark, all but securing their survival with four games to play.
The hosts are an excellent, possession-heavy outfit and they are the side to look towards when it comes to being fouled – Wolves will have to set up to sit off and press Brighton once the ball moves forward.
Brighton’s midfield are wise to this approach, Alexis Mac Allister being fouled in each of his last 12 starts and at least twice in five of his last ten. His partner Moises Caicedo is another used to a kick, being fouled in 11 of his last 12 matches and at least twice in seven of those.
Matheus Cunha is the man I’m looking at here. Wolves are lining up in a 4-4-2 formation at present with Cunha playing slightly off either Diego Costa or Raul Jimenez of late. It means Cunha will be tasked with helping his midfield getting on top of Brighton’s.
Cunha has committed a foul in eight of his ten league starts for Wolves and committed at least two in six of those.
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