On Friday 15th April 2022, bottom of the table Peterborough United take on 7th placed Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture back in November 2021, Blackburn thrashed the Posh 4-0 with goals from Pickering, Lenihan and Brereton Diaz (2). Coming into this game, Peterborough drew 1-1 with Bristol City and Blackburn also drew 1-1 but with Blackpool.
Peterborough United are coming off a 1-1 draw against Bristol City. Jonson Clarke-Harris scored for the Posh in that game. This draw leaves Peterborough with a record of six wins, 10 draws and 25 losses. According to xGA, Peterborough should have let in 73 goals but they have performed worse by conceding 82 times or two goals a game. It is by far the worst backline in the entire division this season and the Posh look destined for third tier football next season.
Seen in the above visual is the shot map of Peterborough United. Jonson Clarke-Harris is the team’s leading goalscorer with 11 to his name. He has also been very efficient with his goals converting one every five shots. Peterborough have missed several big chances which had an xG value of over 0.4. Clarke-Harris has not received much support from his teammates as the next best scorer for Peterborough has six goals to his name.
Peterborough United’s most successful threat creator has been defender Dan Butler from both open play as well as from set pieces. However, compared to the rest of the league, the threat creation from Peterborough players has been well below average as seen by the xT scores. Most of Peterborough’s threats have come from both the flanks this campaign.
Blackburn Rovers drew their last game 1-1 at home against Blackpool. Sam Gallagher scored for the Rovers in that game. That draw means Blackburn have 17 wins, 12 draws and losses each to their name. Blackburn’s backline has been slightly overachieving this season. xGA predicted the Rovers to let in 47 goals but in reality they have shipped five fewer with 42 to their name.
Given above is the performances of Blackburn Rovers relative to the rest of the league. The Rovers are still in the hunt for the promotion play-off spots thanks to their overperforming defence and Ben Brereton Diaz’s performances in front of goal. However, they could have performed better creatively. They rank in the bottom half for assists per 90, xA per 90 and key passes per 90.
Blackburn are the favourites to win this encounter but this is a high stakes clash not just for Blackburn but also for Peterborough as the latter have to win every single game if they are to have any chance of survival in the English second division.