Middlesbrough will look to extend their unbeaten run to four matches when they face Preston North End in the EFL Championship. Preston North End are also on a seven-match unbeaten run and are looking to make it to the playoffs. Boro have strengthened their hold in the playoff places and are looking to secure second place in the league. Both teams are on an unbeaten run and this makes the match more interesting. We now look at some of the stats of the teams that could predict the outcome of the match.
Middlesbrough have won 19, drawn seven, and lost 11 matches in the current season. They have netted 65 goals and conceded 42. Carrick’s men have performed well in the league since his appointment. The above pizza chart shows that Boro have a high percentile rank among other teams in the EFL Championship. They are the second-highest goal-scorers in the division and are also ranked highly for rotating the ball.
Preston North End, on the other hand, have won 14, drawn 11, and lost 12 matches this season. They have scored 34 goals and average 1.1 xG per match. Their defence has conceded 39 goals. By looking at the above viz, we can observe that Preston have a very low percentile rank in the league. Despite this poor percentile rank, the team has managed to keep itself in contention for making it to the playoffs.
Boro’s three-match unbeaten run
Middlesbrough suffered a 2-0 defeat against West Brom Albion last month. They won the next match 5-0 against Reading. This win was followed by a 3-1 win against Swansea City and Boro were held to a 1-1 draw against Stoke City. Carrick’s men created 28.33 positional attacks and 1.67 counterattacks per match in the last three matches. Overall, the team attempted 32 shots and 16 were on target. The xG rate was also on the higher side at 1.96 per match.
Boro averages 29.43 positional attacks and 1.84 counterattacks per match. They attempt 11.24 shots and have a 37% accuracy rate. Carrick’s men have a good accuracy rate and have managed to find the back of the net.
The above viz shows the progressive passes made by Boro in the last three games. It can be observed that the passes have been made from both flanks. Most of the box penetration passes were attempted from the left side and this shows that Boro have been more creative from that particular side.
The Lilywhites’ race to the playoffs
Preston North End have won three and drawn four of their last seven league matches. They have scored seven goals in these matches. Preston haven’t been a very attacking side this season. They average 25.68 positional attacks and 1.76 counterattacks per match. The Lilywhites take 9.76 shots and have a 33.8% accuracy rate. In the last seven matches, the team has attempted 62 shots and averaged just under nine shots per match. By looking at the above viz, we can observe that Preston North End have missed a few chances from the edge of the six-yard box. They will look to improve accuracy against Boro.
Preston North End have progressed with the ball from both flanks. Most of the runs came from the left side. This shows that both teams like to progress with the ball from the left flank.
Preston North End have only conceded three goals in the last seven matches. The defenders have put their bodies on the line and made 26 blocks. These include some crucial blocks in front of the goal. Boro are an attacking side and Preston will have to deal with their threat in this match.
Chuba Akpom is the top goal-scorer in the EFL Championship. He has scored 23 goals in 30 league appearances. The 27-year-old is on a streak of ten goals in the last ten matches. These include eight goals from open plays and two from the penalty spot. Akpom averages 2.5 shots per match in the last ten games and has an accuracy rate of 60%. He will look to add more goals to his tally in this match.
Ched Evans will lead the line for Preston North End. The 34-year-old Welshman has scored nine times this season in 26 league appearances. He has scored a goal each in the last two games and will look to score three goals in three matches.
Emil Riis will miss the game for Preston North End.
According to the 1×2 betting odds, Middlesbrough are the clear favourites to win the match. They have an odds rate of around 1.5 to win the match. Preston North End have a high odds rate of around 6.3. As per the over/under lines, expect the over lines to thrive as Michael Carrick’s side won’t settle for a narrow win.
Middlesbrough are likely to win the match. They have performed well in all the departments, especially in the attack. Boro are looking for automatic qualification and cannot afford to drop points in the remaining matches.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine