Preston North End in Numbers: Boss Alex Neil says Championship will indicate importance of home advantage in empty stadiums

PNE boss Alex Neil thinks the Championship could offer a good guide as to whether playing behind closed doors impedes home advantage.

Friday, 19th June 2020, 4:45 pm

Germany’s Bundesliga has seen a good number of away wins since that resumed in May after Covid-19 had forced a shutdown.

After the Premier League got up and running during the week, the Championship starts again this weekend.

Neil said: “The only thing we have to go off is the German league. It’s the one which has been back playing and is probably the most similar to English football.

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Lilywhites boss Alex Neil

“The home advantage for teams has been basically wiped out, certainly in terms of the results.

“I think the German top division and the English top division have got a clearer divide between the top and bottom teams.

“The Championship is going to give you the best guide of how much or how little home advantage is going to count because there is very little between teams.”

As well as the home/away statistics, Neil thinks it will be interesting to see how the match fitness levels are in the Championship.

Players at all clubs kept themselves in tip-top shape during the lockdown with fitness programmes at home.

However, it has been a relatively short build-up to the resumption in terms of training and friendlies.

Neil said: “Our base fitness is very good and across the league that is the case.

“It is match fitness which counts, though – that and base fitness are two different things.

“If you do a 5k or 10k run, it is a constant pace but when you have someone trying to run behind you in a game and you have to match that run, it is a different kettle of fish.”