Blackburn v Preston
Friday February 12, 19:45
Blackburn fail to fire at QPR
Blackburn suffered their first Championship defeat in five on Saturday, losing further ground on the play-off places, after going down 1-0 at QPR. Rangers goalkeeper Seny Dieng thwarted Rovers’ top scorer Adam Armstrong on several occasions as the home side held on doggedly to plenty of second-half pressure from Tony Mowbray‘s visitors.
Armstrong had six shots at goal in total, twice denied by fingertip Dieng saves, while a Rob Dickie block came to the R’s rescue when a certain equaliser looked in the offing after the ‘keeper had saved from Lewis Holtby. And Mowbray says Rovers need to find a consistent ruthlessness to their play to take advantage of the chances created in games.
The Blackburn boss felt the defeat replicated similar reverses at Bristol City and Stoke City in which Rovers had produced more than enough of the running, but couldn’t find a way through. He said, “I think after the first 20 minutes, we were pretty dominant for the rest of the game. But you’ve got to score goals when you’re on top and we didn’t today.”
Preston suffer another home reverse
Preston suffered an eighth home league defeat of the campaign on Saturday as North End were turned over 2-1 at Deepdale by struggling Rotherham. Alex Neil‘s outfit started badly and were behind courtesy of an own goal after just 15 seconds when Lilywhites defender Joe Rafferty headed Freddie Ladapo’s shot beyond his own goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.
PNE dominated the rest of the half but were unable to force an equaliser – and then went 2-0 down after 55 minutes when Ben Wiles struck. Ched Evans pulled a goal back for the hosts 10 minutes later, but Rotherham managed to hold on despite Preston firing in 14 efforts at goal overall, including six on-target strikes, to the obvious frustration of Neil post-match.
Neil said, “I thought we should have won the game, we had enough chances to win. But we didn’t take our opportunities, which is really frustrating to watch on the side of the pitch. You need to be clinical and deadly in those areas, but I’ve never seen a start to a game like that. It was frightening. We had so many chances, but the first goal was horrific.”
Blackburn ended a seven-game run without victory over local rivals Preston earlier this season. Rovers ran out convincing 3-0 winners at Deepdale in November, although Joe Raffety’s first-half red card played a key role in PNE’s performance. The duo have met nine times over the past five campaigns with the Lilywhites posting a dominant W5-D2-L2 return.
Blackburn 2.021/1 appeared serious contenders for a top-six finish as we entered Christmas but Rovers have endured an inconsistent spell since early December (W4-D3-L5) to lose ground on the play-off positions. Nevertheless, Tony Mowbray’s men have enjoyed their Ewood Park outings, delivering W6-D4-L1 here when welcoming sides outside the top-six.
Preston 3.7011/4 will be glad to be back on the road. The Lilywhites boast the division’s fourth-best return on their travels (W7-D1-L6) and have collected 61% of their overall points tally in games as guests. However, PNE make the short journey on the back of a poor run of results (W1-D1-L4) that’s also seen the visitors score just twice in nine hour of league football.
Both Blackburn and Preston are amongst the leading pack for overall goals per-game output in a low-scoring Championship campaign. The duo are delivering at least a 50% success-rate for Over 2.5 Goals 1.9520/21, whilst combined home/away games between the two teams are producing a healthy average of 2.77 goals per-game in 2020/21.
Unlike traditional derby dust-ups, the Blackburn versus Preston renewal has paid out for Over 2.5 Goals backers in seven of their last nine contests, with the same figure landing profit for Both Teams To Score 1.758/11 punters. With that in mind, I’m happy to have an interest in a goal-heavy game on Friday night with Overs appealing at the prices.