On Saturday, second place Bournemouth host Derby County, who are in the bottom three, in a crucial encounter in the EFL Championship. Bournemouth’s previous encounter was a shock 1-1 draw against the bottom of the table Peterborough United. Derby County won their previous game against Barnsley 2-0. Bournemouth will want to win to get that automatic promotion to the Premier League next season. Derby are fighting not only for survival in the Championship but also for their existence as an institution as they are currently under administration. In the reverse fixture back in November 2021, Derby won 3-2, with goals from Knight and a brace from Lawrence. Jaidon Anthony and Dominic Solanke were Bournemouth’s goalscorers that game.
Bournemouth have scored the second-most goals of any team this season in the EFL Championship, trailing only Fulham. In their previous game against Peterborough United, Ryan Christie scored Bournemouth’s only goal of the game in the 52nd minute. They were left frustrated by the defense of Peterborough United. After this match, Bournemouth’s record stands at 18 wins, eight draws, and seven losses.
Dominic Solanke is the team’s top goalscorer with twenty goals to his name, which is the joint second-highest alongside Chilean striker Ben Brereton Diaz of Blackburn Rovers. Had Solanke received adequate support, Bournemouth could have scored even more goals. No other Bournemouth player has even reached double figures in goals scored. But to their credit, three other players have scored five goals or more this season.
Forward Jaidon Anthony has generated the highest xT for Bournemouth so far this season from both open play as well as set-pieces. His xT scores from corners, crosses, and several passes exceed 2.0. Besides Anthony, Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stacey also produced significant xT from various plays.
Derby County should have conceded 49 goals this season till now, according to their xGA. But they have conceded only 39, a tremendous overachievement so far. Derby’s previous game saw them win 2-0 against Barnsley, with former Manchester United player, Ravel Morrison, scoring both the goals. They will need performances like this from their players if they are to survive as an organization, let alone one in the EFL Championship.
Though Derby County’s defense is very good, their attack has not done the job on many occasions this season. As seen in the above chart, in the attacking and creativity column, Derby have performed average or close to average going forward. In the passing and progression column, it’s not much better either.
Bournemouth will look to get one back against Derby county after they lost their reverse fixture in November 2021. Bournemouth also have three extra games in hand and will look to capitalize on the opportunities starting from this match. Derby County need every last effort to stave off relegation and possibly bankruptcy.