On Saturday 9th April 2022, 13th placed Preston North End will host ninth-placed Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale Stadium in the EFL Championship. The last time these two teams met, it was QPR that won 3-2 in a thriller, with goals from Dykes, Dunne, and Chair. Coming into this game, Preston defeated Blackpool 1-0, and QPR lost at Sheffield United by the same scoreline.
Preston North End come into this game having won 1-0 against Blackpool. Cameron Archer scored the only goal of the game. This win now leaves Preston with a record of 13 wins, 15 draws, and 12 losses. Yet despite this win, Preston have underperformed in attack this season. According to xG, Preston should have scored 48 times by now, yet they have fallen short by seven goals.
Seen in the above visual is the shot map of Preston this season. The Lilywhites have missed quite a few big chances that had an xG of 0.35 or more. Had they taken some of these chances, they would have been in the top half of the table. Preston’s shot accuracy this season has been 31.5%. Emil Riis Jakobsen is the Lilywhites’ top goalscorer this season, with 13 to his name. No other Preston player has even half his tally.
Ben Whiteman is Preston’s leading threat maker from open play as well as set-pieces this season. Hence it is not a surprise to see him being the top assist provider for his team. The next most successful threat creator for Preston this campaign is Ryan Ledson. The Lilywhites have been good at creating chances in the final third, but they haven’t been as good at converting these chances.
QPR lost 0-1 away at Sheffield United heading into this game. This defeat means QPR have lost 15 games this season. In spite of this defeat, QPR have performed well going forward. They have netted 54 goals against an xG of 46, a difference of +8.
Given above is the chart of QPR’s performances relative to the rest of the league. Despite their overperformance in attack, ranking wise, QPR are just above average in both goals per game and xG per game. But they have a shot accuracy of 34%, putting them in the top 11%. QPR are also one of the most successful teams in dribble success rate as they rank in the 100th percentile in this category.
Both Preston and QPR will want to win this game for different reasons. The hosts will want to solidify their mid-table status, and QPR will look for a win to have some chance of qualifying for the promotion play-offs, however small those chances are.