On Saturday 2nd April 2022, the bottom of the table Derby County take on 14th placed Preston North End in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture back in October 2021, it was a forgettable goalless draw. Coming into this game, Derby County drew 1-1 with Coventry City, and Preston North End were hammered 0-4 away at Luton Town.
Derby County come into this game having drawn 1-1 at home against Coventry City. Tom Lawrence scored from the penalty spot in the second half to earn a point for Derby. Now, Derby are winless in four of the last five games, which leaves them with a record of 11 wins, 13 draws, and 15 losses (they got points deduction for entering administration and financial irregularities). Derby have conceded 45 goals this season, but xGA predicted them to ship 54 goals, a sizeable overachievement for the team.
The shot map shown above is Derby’s from open play this season. One thing noticeable is the lack of shots inside the opponents’ six-yard box. Even in the opponents’ outer penalty box (penalty area not part of the six-yard box), there has been a lack of finishing prowess by Derby players. Their top goalscorer, Tom Lawrence, has 10 goals to his name, but no other Derby player has even reached five goals for the season.
Max Bird is Derby’s most successful threat creator, but most of his threat comes from set-pieces, particularly his corners. From open play, it is Nathan Byrne who has created the most threats. But nobody has cracked the score of 10 in this team, which shows how much Derby struggle to create chances.
Preston North End were smashed 0-4 by Luton Town in their most recent fixture. This defeat means Preston North End’s record stands at 12 wins, 15 draws, and 11 losses. Preston are the team with the most draws this season. xG predicted Preston to score 45 goals this season, but they have underperformed by scoring 40 times.
Preston North End’s underperformance in xG can be seen in the above chart. Preston rank below the 50th percentile in three categories – goals per 90, assists per 90, and key passes per 90.
This match is extremely important to Derby County as they need to win if they are to get out of the bottom three. Preston, on the other hand, will look to win this game to solidify their mid-table status.