Preston North End welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Deepdale for this FA Cup 4th round clash. Preston, who are a club with a rich and long history will be bang up for the contest and desperate to cause a cup shock. They are situated 11th and bang in the middle of the Championship table. Spurs are fighting on all fronts right now, but manager Antonio Conte remains under some pressure and will be keen on a decent run in this competition.
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Preston have some injury problems. Second top scorer Emil Riis Jakobsen is ruled out in addition to midfielders Ben Whiteman and Brad Potts. Striker Troy Parrott can’t play against his parent cup and Man City loanee Liam Delap is cup tied. Manager Ryan Lowe is likely to lineup in a 3-5-2 formation with Ched Evans and Thomas Cannon in partnership upfront.
Spurs have few injuries with only Lucas Moura a confirmed casualty. There will always be uncertainty surrounding any Premier League team in the early rounds of the FA Cup. Fraser Forster should get the gloves being the ‘cup keeper’ but also because Hugo Lloris is in such poor form. Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon look set to feature in the wing back spots, whilst in attack there might be a chance new signing Danjuma could feature. Richarlison is also pushing for a start in attack.
Preston average 0.93 goals per game and 1.11 goals against. They have been underachieving offensively compared to their 1.35 xG but defensively overachieving considering their xGA is 1.58. They only fire an average of 10.96 shots in each game with just 3.36 on target. However, at the other end it must be considered a major positive that their SOT against rate is only 3.71.
Preston haven’t been racking up many corners this season averaging exactly four in each fixture. They have conceded more at a rate of 5.43. Cards have most certainly flowed and this is quite a dirty team racking up 2.33 cards per game. Their opponents have picked up 2.14 cards in each fixture.
Tottenham average 1.90 goals per game and 1.48 against. They have overachieved at both ends of the field and their xGA is surprisingly high at 1.70 per game. Perhaps the main reason for that has been the sheer number of shots they’ve faced at an average of 14.14 per game – more than what they have themselves (13.76). Spurs have fired in an average of 5.24 SOT which is a decent rate.
Spurs average exactly 6 corners in each fixture which is quite high. They’ve only conceded 4.57. Cards have generally been on the high side with the North London outfit obtaining 2.05 per game, whilst drawing their opponents 2.15 card in each contest. Antonio Conte is known for having his team get stuck in down the years.
Player shots and shots on target
Ched Evans averages 3.03 shots per 90 mins for Preston. He fires 1.13 SOT which is around a 35% accuracy rate. Striker Thomas Cannon is next on the list for Preston shots (2.12) and his accuracy is better at 1.06 per 90 mins. Attacking midfielders Ben Woodburn and Robbie Brady both average over one shot per 90 mins and could be worth looking at to try their luck from distance in a fixture like this one.
Harry Kane averages the most shots per 90 mins of any Spurs player (3.60), and he has a very respectable 1.58 on target. Son has had a poor season but averages nearly 3 shots per 90 mins with 1.39 on target. Should Richarlison feature then it’s best to focus on his shots, not SOT. He averages less than one SOT per 90 mins. Out wide, both Sessegnon and Kulusevski are also candidates to fire in shots.
Player goals and assists
Ched Evans leads the scoring charts for Preston with 8 goals. He also has the most assists with three and is obviously a key player for the Lancashire outfit. Nobody else really stands out in terms of goals with the next highest on the list netting only twice. Attacking midfielder Ben Woodburn has supplied two assists and Preston might look to him for some creativity.
Harry Kane is streets ahead of any other Spurs player in the goalscoring charts. He’s netted 16 times this season and is one goal away from breaking the Spurs record which Jimmy Greaves has held for decades. A trio of other players have scored four goals each, including Bentacur and Son. The leading assist provider for Tottenham is Kulusevski with five. Son has three assists and did supply the goal for Kane vs Fulham on Monday night.
Preston only average 47% of the ball. None of their players average more than 50 passes per 90 mins although there are two who are close to this mark, Robbie Brady and Andrew Hughes. Preston are unlikely to have much more than 40% possession in this game so it makes sense to avoid their players in the passing market.
Tottenham are not known for being a pass hungry side under Antonio Conte but they do average 51% of the ball, a figure which should realistically be up at 60%+ in this fixture. No Spurs player averages more than 70 passes per 90 mins but a trio of individuals aren’t far off that mark; Lenglet, Hojbjerg and Dier. Midfielder Yves Bissouma is another to consider here and averages 62 passes per 90 mins.
Defenders Liam Lindsay and Jordan Storey have obtained 8 and 7 cards respectively, although each do average less than one foul per game. Midfielder Robbie Brady averages 2.32 fouls per 90 mins and striker Ched Evans is similar at 1.98. Both will press from the front and are no strangers to picking up cards either. Midfielder Ryan Ledson could have his hands full, and averages close to one foul per 90 mins in addition to picking up five cards.
Richarlison is a master of winding up opponents and also has a high dribbling rate. It is no surprise to see him get fouled 2.04 times on average per 90 mins. Either he or Harry Kane should start upfront and whoever it is will cause loads of problems to the Preston defence. Kane is fouled roughly 1.5 times per 90 mins. Both wingers Son and Kulusevski are also massive candidates to craw cards and be fouled. Kulusevski averages a really high 5.05 dribbles per game and can be a nightmare to handle.
Matchups to watch
Liam Lindsay vs Harry Kane
Ryan Ledson vs Oliver Skipp
Robbie Brady vs Dejan Kulusevski
The midfield duo of Bentacur and Bissouma are known for picking up cards and fouling the opposition. Both are disruptors of counter-attacks and will play dirty if required. Ryan Sessegnon averages 1.69 fouls per 90 mins and centre back Romero a similar rate. Striker Harry Kane is a sneaky one and averages neatly one foul per 90 mins and obtained four cards this season.
Striker Ched Evans is such a key man for Preston and on average is fouled 2.36 times per 90 mins. He dribbles twice in each game which will aid his cause. Midfielders Ben Woodburn and McCann are also candidates to be fouled, in addition to Ryan Ledson. Right wing back Alan Browne has the highest dribbling rate per 90 mins in this team (2.63). He could present a challenge to the Spurs defence.
Matchups to watch
Cristian Romero vs Ched Evans
Yves Bissouma vs Ryan Ledson
Ryan Sessegnon vs Ryan Browne
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Here’s a few bet builder picks that stood out as value when making the stats pack. Comes in at 3/1.
Preston North End vs Tottenham
Preston games average 4.47 cards.
Tottenham games average 4.15 cards.
Tottenham average 6.00 corners.
Preston conced 5.43 corners per game.
Ched Evans commits 1.98 fouls P/90.
Robbie Brady commits 2.32 fouls P/90.
Up against Dejan Kulusevski who is fouled 1.12 times P/90, and makes 5.05 dribbls, or Richarlison who averages 2.04 and 2.96 respectively.