On Tuesday 15th March 2022, it will be a clash of two teams on the opposite ends of the table. Promotion hopeful Blackburn Rovers take on relegation-threatened Derby County at Ewood Park in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture back in October 2021, it was the team from Lancashire that came out on top 2-1 thanks to a brace from Chilean striker Ben Brereton Diaz. Coming into this match, Blackburn suffered a 0-1 home defeat to Bristol City, and Derby lost away at Bournemouth 0-2. Both teams will want to bounce back from these defeats as quickly as possible.
Blackburn Rovers are coming into this game after a disappointing loss against Bristol City where they conceded in the 92nd minute. After their loss on Saturday, Blackburn’s record stands at 16 wins, 10 draws, and 11 losses. Still, they remain favorites to win this game, particularly taking into account that they have conceded fewer goals (37) than their predicted xGA (41).
Ben Brereton Diaz is Blackburn’s top goalscorer with 20 goals but will miss this match due to injury. As you can see, Diaz has received very little support from his teammates. The team’s second-highest goalscorer, Sam Gallagher, has only six goals to his name.
Joe Rothwell is Blackburn’s most successful threat creator, with a score of 8.649. Primarily, his threat comes from corner kicks. Hence, why he has the most assists for the team. Blackburn create most of their threat from the right wing in open play.
Derby come into this game with a 0-2 loss away at Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth. This result leaves them in 23rd position on the league table. Derby need to improve as a team very quickly if they are to survive the drop. Luckily for them, they seem to be overachieving on the defensive end. xGA predicted Derby would concede 51 goals till now, but they have conceded only 41 goals so far.
While Derby are outperforming on their xGA, it is in going forward that they are struggling. Derby are ranked in the 38th percentile in the goals per 90 category. xG per 90 puts them in the 43rd percentile. Derby also underperformed in several categories in the ‘passing and progression’ column. Assists per 90 and xA per 90 rank them in the 33rd percentile and 40th percentile, respectively. Derby make only 1.91 key passes per 90. This lack of creativity is why Derby lack goals.
Blackburn and Derby will look to bounce back from defeats on Saturday in this match. Blackburn need to win to solidify their hopes in playing in the promotion play-offs, and Derby need to win for survival in the EFL Championship.