Preston North End host Hull City in one of the games on matchday two of the 2022-23 EFL Championship. The match is set to take place on Saturday the 6th of August. Coming into this clash, Preston played a goalless draw at the DW Stadium against Wigan Athletic, and Hull City won 2-1 against Bristol City at home thanks to a last minute strike. The last time these two teams met, Preston won 1-0 away back in February 2022.
We look at three tactical points that could prove to be crucial in this match’s outcome.
Expected Goals (xG):
Preston may have not scored a goal in their previous match against Wigan, but they generated an xG of over 2.0 from their 12 shot attempts. However, just two of these attempts tested the goalkeeper, indicating that their finishing ability needs improvement. Should they not improve, then the Lilywhites could struggle to get wins to challenge for a finish in the top half of the table, as they were the team with the most draws last season.
Hull City generated an xG of 1.48 against Bristol City in their previous game, meaning they overperformed as per the metric. Iranian international Allahyar Sayyadmanesh had a good chance saved by the Bristol keeper in the first half of stoppage time. The Tigers will hope to continue their rate of quality chance creation, if not even improve.
Preston recovered the ball 87 times in the previous game. The majority of this came in the defensive third, showing they are possibly reactive in their approach to defending and not necessarily proactive. Andrew Hughes made the most recoveries for the team (17). He was followed by Liam Lindsay and Ben Whiteman, who made 14 each. With just 8% of the recoveries in the final third, the Lilywhites will need to try and press the ball higher up the pitch to challenge Hull.
Hull made fewer recoveries (74) last match than Preston did in theirs (87). Half of these came in their defensive third, with over 40% coming in the midfield. The top two players for Hull were Tobias Figueiredo and Jacob Greaves, who made 14 each. In third place came Alfie Jones, who made 12 recoveries. With the same percentage of recoveries in the attacking third as Preston, the Tigers will hope for more success in pressing the ball closer to their opponents goal.
The majority of Preston’s positional attacks last game came through the middle. Not only was it quantitatively high, but it was also qualitatively superior, as seen in the 0.79 xG that the team generated. They failed to generate significant threat through the wings in the previous game. The Lilywhites need to make the threat count by improving their finishing ability.
By contrast, Hull were able to create some threat through the left wing and down the centre, though they did not generate as much threat through the right flank. Quantitatively, 19 out of 24 positional attacks by the Tigers came from the left flank and the middle. The Tigers will hope to diversify their threat creation areas so as to not be predictable against Preston.
Preston North End will look to win their first game of the season in this clash. They will have the home crowd on their side to support them. On the other hand, having won their first game of the season, Hull City will look to carry the momentum forward and build on the win earned against Bristol City.
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