Match Preview – Preston North End

If you want to see goals this weekend there won’t be a better chance of a thriller than at the Walkers Stadium. This match pitches the Championship’s two most porous defences against each other. Combined, Leicester and Preston’s 26 league matches this season have seen a total of 92 goals. In the last six matches City fans have watched 4.1 goals per game; Preston supporters have witnessed an average of five.

If you’re yet to be convinced, it’s worth pointing out that neither side have kept a clean sheet in their last 10 league matches, in fact it’s now 11 games for Leicester (and 14 if you count cup ties). It should also be noted that Preston are one of just two Championship sides yet to feature in a goalless draw and that Leicester’s defeat at Swansea last week was the first time in six league games that the Foxes failed to score.

The first goal is likely to settle nothing. City have won only half of the league matches in which they have scored first, whilst Preston have thrown away a Championship high 11 points from winning positions this season. If Darren Ferguson’s men had kept all their leads in 2010/11, they’d currently be sitting 3rd in the table.

This frustrating statistic is in no doubt a consequence of two factors. First, only Burnley can claim a worse disciplinary record than Preston’s 27 yellow and 3 red cards. Likewise, this inability to keep 11 men on the pitch has probably contributed to the Lilywhites conceding six goals in the last 10 minutes of league games (and scoring none themselves). Perhaps Preston will be comforted in knowing that the match referee, Mr G L Ward, has yet to dismiss a player this season.

The away side will be boosted too by their recent record at the Walkers Stadium – Preston have won by a single goal on each of their last four visits. By contrast Leicester will be buoyed by the absence of the visitor’s top scorer. John Parkin (7 goals in 8 league starts) is on course for the best season of his career, but his 5th booking of the season at home to Crystal Palace last week means he’ll take no part in the match.

This fixture saw Leicester City’s fastest ever goal in 2006, Matty Fryatt scoring after just 9 seconds in a 2-1 defeat for the Foxes. That record almost certainly won’t fall, but the highest scoring league games at the Walkers have contained just six goals. You wouldn’t be surprised if this match breaks new ground.

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