This is a post for both Wrexham and Yeovil fans really, however, a warning for any Wrexham fans giving this a read, it will be biased towards Yeovil.

The whole idea of this is to understand how Wrexham play. What their strengths and weaknesses are, trying to figure out how we could potentially counter, or stop, this to give ourselves the best chances of an upset (We can all hope).

Before I start I would like to give massive credit to WT_analysis who has provided me with the statistics, tables and graphs for this post. He runs a brilliant twitter account using these types of graphs to create content.

Hope you enjoy the read, any feedback or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Wrexham’s “Completed Passes For/Against”

In the image above we can see that most of Wrexham’s “Completed Passes For” are mainly made across their back line or down the sides of the pitch, clipping passes over the opposition full backs head for a forward to run on to.

In League 2, Wrexham average 49% possession in matches, which may suggest that they look to counter quickly after winning the ball back. This may be the perfect game for someone like Charlie Cooper (don’t attack me) or even Josh Owers. We need someone who will sit back when we come forward, to stop any danger of a Wrexham counter attack!

Could Charlie Cooper be the answer in centre midfield?
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Michael Smith could be the perfect player to deal with the chipped passes over the top of his head from Wrexham because he should have the awareness to sit a few yards deeper to give himself more chance of winning the ball.

From the graph above “Completed Passes Against” on this photo we can see that the opposing teams seem to have more of the pitch covered with a dense red. The Red Dragon’s opponents seem have more passes completed in their own penalty area and defensive third.

This shows that Wrexham allow their opposition to have the ball in their own half. This may suit our style if Sonny Blu plays, as he can pick the ball from deep and dictate the pace of the game. Similarly to themselves, Wrexham’s opponents seem to complete lot’s of passes in wide areas, trying to exploit the Wrexham wide men. We may see the patterns of play between the likes of Jordan Young and Michael Smith come in to action with great effect down the right hand side!

Wrexham’s Possessions Won/Possessions Lost

The green graph in this photo shows that Wrexham mainly gain possession back in between their first and middle thirds of the pitch. This matches up to the “Completed Passes Against” where Wrexham’s opposition complete a lot of passes in their defensive half and coming into the advanced part of the middle third.

This could be a game where our midfield and defensive players complete many touches and passes between each other despite being massive underdogs. Another option could be to stick an extra body in midfield and have one less striker, this would not be a defensive switch, it would be a tactical battle to attempt to control the ball in midfield. I believe a middle three of Owers holding with Worthington and Sonny pushing on could give us a genuine chance of controlling parts of the game.

The image above shows “Possessions lost”. From this graph we can see that Wrexham give the ball away regularly in their oppositions half, although this will be heavily affected by the amount of risks they take when in possession of the ball. Sometimes this works in their favour, like in their 6-0 win over Morecambe, sometimes they will concede plenty of goals because of taking risks, like the 5 they conceded to Swindon and MK Dons.

Jordan Young. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

We have shown many times this season that we can destroy teams when we hit them on the break in games such as Southend, Gateshead and Aveley! Using the pace of Dawes and Young could be vital in this game.

Wrexham’s defensive line when under pressure

The red shaded area in this photo shows the average line of Wrexham’s back four or five per defensive action. It continues with the trend of Wrexham sitting deep when out of possession, not allowing any space in behind because of their slow defence. This will suit Jordan Young perfectly, allowing him to pick the ball up from deep, to drive into the opposing area or get a shot off from range.

Wrexham’s Shot assists For/Against

[The term “Shot Assist” means the final pass before a shot is then taken on.]

On both “Shot Assist” maps we can see that most of Wrexham’s (green lines)(Red blocks) shots come from crosses or cutbacks from wide areas pulled back to around the penalty area. This is why I believe a holding midfielder is key in this game, Wrexham always have runners coming into the box, some towards the goal, and some hold back on to the edge of the box. The two central defenders cannot be expected too mark two Wrexham forwards and the late midfield runs. Charlie Cooper or Josh Owers will be able to sweep up at those given opportunities.

Michael Smith. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Defensively a lot of “Shot Assists” Wrexham face come from a winger or a wingback playing a pass inside from a deep wide position, to a midfielder on the edge of the box, or perhaps a forward who has spun in behind the backline. We will be able to follow this trend further when of either Michael Smith or Jordan Young comes a bit narrower, into the midfield, being able to receive passes on the half turn, being able to get shots off, or slot in a forward player.

Wrexham’s Shot and Goals map

Wrexham’s shot map shows that most of their shots happen in between the penalty spot and the 6 yard box. This is to give themselves the best chance of being clinical with their shooting. They have taken 267 shots this season, scoring 41 goals from an Expected goals (xG) of 1.85 per 90.  Wrexham are out performing their xG by +0.35, having scored 2.1 goals per 90. This means it is vital for the defensive pairing of Williams and Wannell have to be completely aware of the dangers that surround them.

Wrexham’s Shots and Goals Against map

Wrexham’s “Shots Against” map makes me very excited for the game on Sunday as it seems they concede plenty of shots from outside the area and of the 28 goals conceded a few have come from long range. The Welsh side’s expected goals against (xGa) is 1.34 per 90 and have conceded a total of 1.55 goals against per 90. These numbers have however been affected by their poor defensive start to the season, where they conceded 5 to Swindon and MK Dons. The reason I am excited by this is that we take many shots from range with the likes of Jordan Young in the squad and this could be a viable way to score if Wrexham are sat so deep when out of possession.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the read, as I said before any feedback or comments are massively appreciated, as I am always trying to improve my work!

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Mick W
4 months ago

Very good, now someone give this lad a job. He may be young but with a bit of coaching, by an experienced journalist, he could have a future