Blackburn Rovers will play host to Sheffield United in the EFL Championship. Both teams are fighting for promotion, with the Blades having the upper hand over their opponents. The last meeting between the two teams ended in a 3-0 win for Sheffield United, and Blackburn Rovers will look to avenge their loss in their home territory. We look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of this crucial match.
Blackburn Rovers sit fourth in the EFL Championship table with 17 wins, four draws, and 13 losses. They are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run. Rovers have scored 38 goals and conceded the same number of goals. They have a low xG rate of 0.9 per match, and that is the biggest concern. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the team in comparison to other teams in the EFL Championship. Despite sitting in the playoff places, the team is ranked below average in most of the departments. This is a concern against the top teams in the league, as they won’t allow Blackburn Rovers to take easy points.
Sheffield United are sitting comfortably in second place and are looking to make it back to the English Premier League. The Blades have scored 55 goals at an average xG rate of 1.6 per match. Their defence has conceded 30 goals this season. The above viz shows that Sheffield United have failed to rotate the ball, but their attack and defence have been strong. Sheffield United have a pretty direct approach to scoring goals, and that has kept them high in the league table.
Blackburn Rovers finding their attacking momentum
Blackburn Rovers have started to find their goal-scoring touch in recent matches. They have scored five goals in the last three matches, with three coming in the last match against Queens Park Rangers. Overall, the team averages 8.44 shots at a 37% accuracy rate. In these three matches, Rovers averaged nine shots per match and had a 40.74% accuracy rate. Their xG rate also averages around 1.28 in these three matches. This is also a big positive for the manager.
Blackburn Rovers conceded three goals in the last meeting between the two teams. They can’t afford to concede the same number of goals this time. The defence has shown massive improvement and conceded only four goals in the last seven matches. Rovers have blocked 88 shots in the current season and a few of them have been made inside the penalty box. They will have to stay tight against this Sheffield United side.
Can the Blades register back-to-back wins?
Sheffield United returned to winning ways after a 1-0 win over Watford in their previous match. However, the Blades were unable to produce that magical performance and won the match with the help of an own goal. Overall, the team attempts 13.03 shots per match and have a 40.9% accuracy rate. In the last match, Sheffield United players failed to hit the target from most of their shot attempts. They will look to be more clinical with their finishing.
The Blades like to deliver crosses into the opposition’s penalty box. They average 18.27 crosses per match and have a 33% accuracy rate. Most of the crosses have been attempted from the right side and the players have also penetrated the box to deliver these crosses. Blackburn Rovers will have to deal with this threat.
Sam Gallagher ended his goal-scoring drought of 13 matches after scoring a brace in the last match. The 27-year-old striker took his overall tally to six goals in 27 league matches. He only took two shots in the last match and converted both chances. Blackburn Rovers will expect their striker to win them another match.
Iliman Ndiaye sent the Blades to the last eight of the FA Cup after scoring a goal against Spurs. He has scored ten goals and provided seven assists in 33 league appearances. The 23-year-old has scored one goal and provided five assists post-World Cup. He will be a key figure in the attack for the Blades.
Bradley Deck, Thomas Kaminski, Daniel Ayala, Scott Wharton, Adan Wharton, and Clinton Mola will be the absentees for Blackburn Rovers.
Rhian Brewster, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Enda Stevens, Ciaran Clark, and Jack O’Connell are expected to miss the match for Sheffield United.
According to the 1×2 betting odds Sheffield United are the favourites to win the match. They have betting odds of around 2.01 to win the match. The chances of Blackburn Rovers winning the match and the match ending in a draw have similar betting odds. As per the over/under lines, expect this match to be a tight game that might produce only one or two goals.
Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers battle out for three points this weekend. The Blades will be the favourites. However, there are chances that Blackburn Rovers might turn the match in their favour and strengthen their chances of making to the playoffs.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine