On Saturday, 23rd placed Peterborough United will take on seventh-placed Middlesbrough at the ABAX stadium in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture back in October 2021, Middlesbrough won 2-0, with two late goals from Paddy McNair and Josh Coburn. Coming into this game, Peterborough United won 3-1 away at QPR, and Middlesbrough won 2-0 away at Birmingham City.
Peterborough United come into this match having taken a surprise away 3-1 victory at QPR. Jonson Clarke-Harris scored twice, and Jack Marriott scored once to give Peterborough a vital victory. This win lifted them out of the bottom of the table, but they are still firmly in the relegation zone. Their record now stands at six wins, eight draws, and 24 losses. Peterborough have the worst defense in the league, conceding 76 goals. Worse, xGA predicted them to let in 67 goals which is a huge underachievement at the back.
Seen above is the shot map of Peterborough United from open play. They have the second-worst attack of any team in the EFL Championship this season (only Barnsley have scored fewer). The team’s top goalscorer is Jonson Clarke-Harris, with nine goals to his name. That means no Peterborough player has reached double figures for goals this season.
Peterborough’s most successful threat creator this season is Dan Butler from both open play as well as set-pieces. But his threat creation score is only just above five. The team’s joint-most assist makers are Jonson Clarke-Harris and Harrison Burrows with only two assists to their name. This indicates that Peterborough struggle with creating chances as well.
Middlesbrough come into this match after defeating Birmingham City 2-0 away from home. Aaron Connolly and Folarin Balogun scored for Middlesbrough that game. This victory means Middlesbrough have 17 wins, eight draws, and 12 losses to their name so far this season. xG predicted Middlesbrough to score 56 times until now, but in reality, they have netted only 48 times.
Middlesbrough’s xG underperformance can be seen in the above chart. They have scored only 1.09 goals per 90 as against an xG of 1.39. Middlesbrough are also either average or close to average in several categories falling under the passing and progression column. They have underperformed on their expected assists (xA) per 90 as well.
This match may look like Middlesbrough are the clear favorites based on the league position, but they have underperformed on their xG as well as xGA. Peterborough will hope to take the confidence boost received against QPR, and Middlesbrough will hope to win to push for promotion play-offs.