On the final matchday of the 2021-22 EFL Championship, 20th placed Birmingham City welcome ninth-placed Blackburn Rovers to the St. Andrews Stadium. In the reverse fixture back in December 2021, Blackburn thrashed Birmingham 4-0, with goals from John Buckley, Reda Khadra, and a brace from Ben Brereton Diaz. Coming into this game, Birmingham drew 1-1 away at Cardiff City, and Blackburn lost 0-3 at home to Bournemouth.
Heading into this match, Birmingham City drew 1-1 away at Cardiff City. Jeremie Bela scored the only goal for Birmingham. This draw leaves Birmingham City with a record of 11 wins, 14 draws, and 20 losses to their name, with a goal difference of -24. The Blues have the joint fifth-lowest shots on target in this season’s EFL Championship, with 153 in 45 games and an average of 3.4 shots on target per game. With 49 goals to the Blues’ name, Birmingham score once every 3.12 shots on target. For comparison, Fulham, the league champions, score once every 2.53 shots on target.
Birmingham City’s most successful threat creator in this season’s EFL Championship has been Marc Roberts, but most of his threat has come through his throw-ins. From open play, surprisingly, it is the goalkeeper Matija Sarkic who has produced the most threat for Birmingham City.
Blackburn Rovers come into this game having lost 0-3 at home to Bournemouth. That loss mathematically ended the Rovers’ chances of making the promotion play-off spots. They now have 18 wins, 12 draws, and 15 losses to their name, with a goal difference of +8. This season looks like a missed opportunity for Blackburn. However, there are a few positives as well. For instance, they have completed the third most dribbles in the entire division only behind Nottingham Forest and Fulham. Another big plus for the Rovers has been the performance of Ben Brereton Diaz, who has netted 21 goals in the league.
Seen above is the shot map of Blackburn Rovers in this season’s EFL Championship. They have missed a few big chances that had an xG value of over 0.4. Had they taken those, Blackburn could have been challenging for the promotion play-offs going into the final matchday. Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Gallagher are responsible for 52.63% of the team’s goals in this campaign.
Blackburn have the ninth-best defensive record in the Championship this season. This can be observed in the above chart. They are near the middle in defensive duels, defensive duels won %, aerial duels and recoveries in the opposition’s half. The only category where the Rovers are top is the percentage of aerial duels won.
This clash is mathematically a dead rubber as the hosts are safe from relegation, and the visitors cannot challenge for the play-offs. Both Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers will play for pride.