Match Preview: Stevenage vs Swindon Town

Form Guide… 

7th placed Swindon lost midweek at Crewe, a first defeat on the road since a reverse at Preston in early September; making 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats in six outings.

Stevenage are 2nd and one point behind leaders Tranmere. Boro are unbeaten in their 7 matches as hosts this season, winning 3 and drawing 3 of their previous 6 games.

Stevenage are our first opponents situated in a higher league position prior to the match since we played Crawley back in August. Head-to-Head…

In all League, FA Cup and Football League competitions, Town have faced Stevenage on 2 occasions.

The first was a famous 2-1 win for Stevenage Borough in an FA Cup Third Round tie in January 1998.

Swindon won their last meeting, a 2-0 win in the JPT in October 2005.

We’ve never played Stevenage at Broadhall Way.

The Stats…

Defence Attack
  Stev (Hosts) r STFC (Away) r   Stev (Hosts) r  STFC  (Away) r
Shots Against Per Game 10 14 7.7 2 Shots For Per Game 10 16 10.7 5
% Shots Against on Target 54.3% 18 44.4% 7 % Shots For on Target 55.7% 2 58.7% 2
% Save Rate 79% 7 62.5% 21 % Strike Rate 17% 3 10.7% 13
Corners Against Per Game 5 15 5 6 Corners Won Per Game 6 12 7.6 1
Possession Conceded 49% 12 46.6% 4 Possession Won 51% 12 53.4% 4
R = rank: The ranking shown for each measure indicates the efficiency of the sides against the rest of the division as either hosts or the away side | 1 equals the best and 24 is the worst |

I’ve recently used this section to criticise our attack, which at the County Ground has limited efficiency. However away from home, Town are ranked in the top five in all but the strike rate. Clearly on our travels we have been generating a meaningful number of chances with 10.7 per game – behind first ranked Brentford with 13.1 per game – and 3 in 5 force the opposition ‘keeper into a save, however the clinical finishing just isn’t there. Perhaps proof for Paolo’s ongoing – and perhaps everlasting – search for a striker.

Our opponents Stevenage are unbeaten with 3 wins and 4 draws, ranked 5th best in League One with a points per game of 1.86. While at first glance it appears this doesn’t translate in our rankings, their overall defensive and attacking ranking is the 8th strongest in the division.

On that point. Currently Swindon are the 2nd best away team in League One according to our rankings, yet anyone who journeyed north to Crewe midweek would surely disagree…

Stevenage don’t really have an obvious weak point. Any lack of chances created is outweighed by a clinical 17% strike rate. Similarly, any shots allowed at them are defended by a reasonable save rate. If there is one area in which Town could punish it would be with the 2.6 point swing with the likely number of corners, however with Swindon scoring only 1 goal – from a short corner against Coventry – in League One from 93 corners, we really aren’t that effective at building on this set piece advantage.

SCORED 1-15 16-30 31-45 45+ 46-60 61-75 76-90 90+
Stev (as hosts) 1  3 0 0 2 3 3 0
STFC (away) 1  2 2 0 2 0 1 0

Goals have been plentiful for Stevenage as hosts, however they’ve only scored once in the first half in 3 home games and have not scored a goal in the final 15 minutes for the past 3 home games.

Town have scored in the first half in 4 of the previous 5 League One matches.

CONCEDED 1-15 16-30 31-45 45+ 46-60 61-75 76-90 90+
Stev (as hosts) 3 1 0 0 2 1 1 0
STFC (away) 3 2 2 0 0 1 0 1

Both sides have conceded early home and away respectively this season. Swindon have conceded 77% of goals on our travels in the first 45 minutes, but get stronger defensively after a half time dressing down from Di Canio.

My prediction… 

With an injury ravaged and misfiring squad against one of the form sides in League One a victory seems unlikely. A score draw..? 1-1

Come on You Reds!


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