The EFL Championship resumes again in full after the World Cup break when Blackburn Rovers play host to Preston North End. Rovers sit in the third position in the league table, while their opponents are in the ninth position. Both teams suffered losses in their last match before the international break and will look to return to winning ways with their return to action.
Blackburn Rovers have a record of 12 wins and nine losses. They have scored 24 goals with an average xG rate of 0.88 and conceded 22 with an average xGA of 1.3. The Rovers have played ten matches at home and have a record of eight wins and two losses. They have won their last five matches at home.
Preston North End, on the other hand, have won eight, drawn seven, and lost six matches this season. The visitors have scored 18 goals with an average xG rate of 1.08 and conceded 20 with an average xGA of 1.21. They have the second-best away record in the league with five wins, three draws, and two defeats.
Let us have a look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of the match.
How have the teams performed so far?
Blackburn Rovers have managed to get the results in their favour by winning most of the games by a narrow margin. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the team in compared to other teams in the EFL Championship. We can observe that Blackburn Rovers are ranked very low in all the departments. Despite having 49.63 percent of the ball on average, they haven’t converted many chances.
Preston North End are also ranked similarly to their opponents this weekend. They have a low percentile rank in almost every department. One of the areas where the team has performed well is in recovering the ball. Preston North End are ranked in the top 68 percentile for making recoveries.
The attacking struggles
Both teams are ranked quite low when it comes to the attacking department. The teams managed to score a few goals but were unable to create enough threats. Blackburn Rovers create 22.57 positional attacks and 2.05 counterattacks per match. They only average 8.7 shots per match and have a 35.6% accuracy rate.
Preston North End averages 25.6 positional attacks and 1.57 counterattacks. They take 10.24 shots per 90 minutes and have a 35.8% accuracy rate. The above viz shows that both teams are ranked low for xG per shot. The players haven’t been able to get into proper goal-scoring situations on most occasions.
Another reason behind their struggle in attack is the number of entries into the final third by the players. Preston North End players have made only 35 entries, while Blackburn Rovers make 31 entries per 90 minutes.
When it comes to recovering the ball in dangerous areas, the Rovers are ranked at the bottom of the table. They have the joint-worst record in the league. Blackburn Rovers average 82.62 recoveries per match, while their opponents make 92.57 recoveries. However, Preston have a better record than their opponents.
The aerial battle
One of the areas where these two teams have excelled is in winning the aerial duels in their respective matches. The home team contests 35.15 aerial duels per match, while the away team contests 54.24 duels per match. Preston have the best win percentage in the league, and the Rovers are just behind them. These two teams will have a busy day clearing the aerial threat.
Ben Brereton Diaz has been a key figure in Blackburn Rovers’ attack. The 23-year-old has nine goals and an assist in 21 league appearances. He averages 2.86 shots per 90 minutes and has an accuracy rate of 38.7%. He plays on the left side of the attack, and most of the shots have been taken by making angles from that particular side. He will look to create more threats toward the opposition’s goal in this match.
For Preston North End, Emil Riis will be a key figure in the attack. He has five goals to his name this season and is the team’s top scorer. The Danish player averages 1.63 shots per 90 minutes and has an accuracy rate of 40%. He will look to exploit Rovers’ defence and help his side return to winning ways.
Sam Gallagher and Jack Vale are injury concerns for the home team.
Troy Parrott will miss the game for Preston North End.
Both teams look to kickstart their season with a win after the international break. The players will be fresh after a long break and aim for three points. A win for Preston will take them into the play-off positions, while Rovers can take themselves closer to Burnley with a win in this match. The main struggle will be creating enough threats to create chances, and both teams will look to overcome this.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine