Preston North End head into the international break with a 0-3 defeat against Nottingham Forest. North End started the game fairly brightly, mainly getting into promising attacking positions but couldn’t create clear-cut opportunities to score.
The first big moment of the game proved to be an injury, as PNE’s rock at the back, Patrick Bauer, was forced off and replaced by Jordan Storey midway through the first half. Twelve months ago, Patrick Bauer scored what proved to be the winning goal against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, but then suffered a ruptured Achilles that ruled him out for the remainder of the EFL Championship season. Picking up a win on his return to the south coast with the Lilywhites certainly put those memories to bed, as goals from Ben Whiteman and Ali McCann gave Frankie McAvoy’s men a 2-1 victory over Scott Parker’s previously unbeaten AFC Bournemouth.
Let’s take a look at his stats so far in the season:
Patrick Bauer has been starting in the centre of a back-three as Preston have been playing with the same formation this season. Bauer has been an influential figure at the back for Preston, as he handles most of the pressure playing through the centre. PNE have shown mixed performances so far in the season and have not been consistent enough to climb higher up the table. They have performed well whenever their defense has been stable, and Bauer has played a vital role in this.
Bauer has been completing his defensive duties in the games that he has played so far in the season. His defensive metrics indicate that Bauer is better than most of the players in the league in the same position, as his stats are higher than the median league value. The German centre-half has attempted 11.86 defensive actions per 90 minutes and has completed 85.71% of these defensive actions. He has a high success rate in winning defensive duels and lies in the 94th percentile for the same in the league.
Bauer has featured in the centre of a back-three and has completed most passes sideways to his fellow centre-backs or his midfielders towards the halfway line. Most of his passes have been progressive passes as he helps his team get the ball into the opposition’s half. He has attempted approximately four passes into the final third per 90 minutes and has been able to generate a high threat from these passes. The same can be seen in the above visual as the passes played by him into the final third are highlighted with a darker shade.
Patrick Bauer has attempted a high number of duels in his half as Preston have been on the receiving end of most of the attacks played by the opposition. He has won 62% of the aerial duels he has attempted. Bauer has also been one of the target men when Preston have had set-piece situations, as it can be seen that he has attempted a high number of aerial duels in the opposition’s penalty area. Bauer has scored two goals so far in the league, and they have come from similar situations.
Bauer had one of his best games for Preston against Bournemouth since his return from injury. Bauer won most of the aerial and defensive duels that he attempted and contributed towards this win against a very strong opposition.
The 29-year-old has also attempted a high number of interceptions in his penalty area and has been able to stop most of the attacks that the opposition creates. Almost all of these interceptions inside the penalty area were when the opposition player was carrying the ball. This shows Bauer has great timing with his tackles, as one late tackle can result in the opposition team getting a penalty. He has made timely interceptions in the midfield area whenever the opposition have tried to play through balls through the defense.
The German defender put in a tremendous performance at the heart of the PNE backline, but the defender suffered the same injury he had last season, and while it was not serious, the Lilywhites didn’t want to take any risks. Bauer played a key role in his team’s win away at AFC Bournemouth last Wednesday, and his absence was felt against the Reds. He has been excellent so far since his return from injury, and will be hoping that the recent injury won’t be a serious one and can get back on the pitch for his team.