EFL Championship league leaders AFC Bournemouth hosts Preston North End at the Vitality Stadium in the round-16 of the league. The Cherries have a five points lead at the top and are still unbeaten in the league. They have won 11 matches and drawn the other four matches.
AFC Bournemouth have earned 37 points and enter this match with a five-match winning streak. The Cherries have scored 26 goals, and the team averages 1.61 goals per 90. They have created an xG rate of 22.06 with an average of 1.36 xG per 90. The above viz is the shot map of Bournemouth’s clash against Reading in the previous round. A total of eight shots were attempted, and the goals were scored from inside the opposition box. In all the 15 matches, Bournemouth players have attempted 161 shots, averaging around ten shots per 90. The shot accuracy is 43.47%, as 70 shots have been on target for the Cherries.
One of the main reasons behind their rise to the top is the defense of the team. Bournemouth have conceded eight goals and this is the lowest number in the league. They have conceded five goals fewer than the second-best team, Derby County. The expected goal against rate is 13.96, but they have conceded fewer goals than that. The team has managed to win 58.4% of the defensive duels and 49.6% of the aerial duels. Bournemouth’s defense has kept nine clean sheets this season.
Dominic Solanke is the highest goal scorer for the Cherries. The Englishman has scored 11 goals and has an assist to his name. He averages 0.70 goals per 90 and has an xG rate of 8.91 this season. Phillip Billing is the second-highest goalscorer with five goals, and the midfielder has two assists to his name. Ryan Christie has been a good signing, and the attacking midfielder had five assists in ten games. There are no fresh injury concerns for Bournemouth.
Preston North End are in the bottom half of the season and have earned 18 points so far. The Lilywhites enter this match after completing a convincing 2-0 victory over Luton Town in the previous round.
Preston North End have scored 16 goals with an xG rate of 17.20. The players have attempted 151 shots and 53 shots have been on target for them, while 36 on-target shots have been attempted from inside the opposition box. In the above viz, we can see the expected threat and expected goal timeline. Preston players attempted three shots in the first half and scored on the second and third attempts. Their xG graph had a huge increase towards the end of the first half, and they attempted 11 shots in the second half. Luton Town was unable to trouble the opposition.
Emil Riis has been the standout performer for the Lilywhites this season. The forward has already taken his goal tally to seven goals and also has an assist to his name. He also scored a brace in the previous round victory. Ben Whiteman is the second-highest goalscorer with three goals, and the midfielder has also provided an assist.
AFC Bournemouth will look to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the table. Scott Parker and his men have shown consistency. They are a difficult team to score against, and Preston North End will face a challenge when they play each other.