Norwich City will play host to Blackburn Rovers in round 23 of the EFL Championship. This is one of the biggest matches of the weekend as two of the teams sitting in the top four go head-to-head.

The Canaries are a point and a position behind Blackburn Rovers in the league table. They have won ten, drawn five, and lost seven matches this season. Norwich City have scored 30 goals against their opponents and average 1.6 xG per match. In return, the defence has conceded 23 goals with an average xGA of 1.19. The home team won their last match 1-0 against Swansea City. However, they are winless in their last two home matches and will be eyeing a positive result.

Blackburn Rovers are on a two-match losing streak. They have won 12 and lost the other ten matches in the EFL Championship. Rovers have scored 25 goals while conceding 26. They have an xG rate of 0.88 and an xGA of 1.32 this season. Blackburn Rovers struggle away from home and have lost the last two matches. They will also look to take something away from this trip.

We now look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of the match.

A positive start

As we approach the halfway stage of the league, it can be said that both teams have made a positive start to the EFL Championship. They are fighting for promotion and are in the top six.

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

The above pizza chart shows the percentile rank of the home team in comparison to other teams in the EFL Championship. It can be observed that Norwich City have performed well in the attacking as well as in the possession department. They are one of the six teams to reach the 30 goals mark in the league. The Canaries also keep hold of the ball and deliver very few crosses into the opposition penalty box. When looking at the defensive side, the pressing is on the lower side along with the recovery rate.

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers are the only team in the league that has yet to play a draw. Rovers’ pizza map indicates that they are not a very attacking team, and the ranks are pretty low in most of the departments. The passes per 90 minutes and accuracy rate are the only metrics where the visitors have excelled this season.

Efficiency on counters

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

Norwich City averages 29.5 positional attacks and 1.86 counterattacks this season. They take 12.55 shots per match with a 38.4% accuracy rate. The visitors, on the other hand, average 22.91 positional attacks and 1.95 counterattacks. They take 8.68 shots with a 35.6% accuracy rate. The first viz shows that both teams are at the top when it comes to counterattack efficiency. The Canaries average 33.9 positional attacks and 1.73 counterattacks at home. Their opponents struggle away from home and only create 18.7 positional attacks along with 1.18 counterattacks. The second image shows that Norwich City carries a high xG rate, while their opponents struggle. This shows that Norwich City are likely to dominate the game, and both teams will look to show the same consistency in their attacking efficiency.

The defensive performances

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

Norwich City concedes a goal on average and will look to improve this record against a Blackburn side struggling on the road. The Canaries have managed to win 60% of defensive duels and 49.5% of aerial duels. The team also intercepts the ball 41.97 times and concedes 8.95 fouls per game on average. The above viz shows that Norwich players make most of their interceptions in the defensive third.

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers have won 65.8% of defensive duels and 44.6% of aerial duels. The team makes 39.7 interceptions and commits 9.7 fouls per match. They have yet to concede a penalty this season. Rovers average 1.18 goals conceded per match when it comes to away form. They will be looking to keep a clean sheet in this match.

Key Players

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

Teemu Pukki will lead the charge for Norwich City. The Finnish international has seven goals and four assists in 21 appearances. The above viz shows that Pukki has taken 53 shots and averages more than two shots per match. He makes most of his attempts from inside the penalty box and will look to score goals in back-to-back matches.

EFL Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Blackburn Rovers

Ben Brereton Diaz has nine goals and two assists in 22 league appearances. He is the top goalscorer and the main threat to the opposition. Diaz has missed a few opportunities this season. He will look to make the most of it in this match.

Team news

Norwich City will miss the services of Jon Rowe, Jakob Sorensen, and Sam Byram. However, Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah’s returns will be a boost for the Hornets.

Callum Brittain, Jack Vale, and Sam Barnes are all ruled out of this crucial fixture for Blackburn Rovers.

Norwich City have the nod over the struggling Blackburn Rovers side. They are poor on the run and have lost back-to-back matches. A win for either team will boost their confidence going into the next half of the season.

Visuals via TFA data viz engine