First goal could be key, says Vincent Kompany, as Burnley take on the Championship's meanest defence at Deepdale

Vincent Kompany understands that the first goal will be vital when Burnley take on the country's meanest defence at Deepdale.

Preston North End finally relinquished their perfect start defensively when Birmingham City ended a run of seven clean sheets on the bounce.

Only the likes of Barcelona, Villareal and Celtic can match that record in Europe's elite leagues, alongside Las Palmas and Granada in La Liga Smartbank, while Burgos CF are yet to concede in five games played in Spain's second tier.

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With Colin Maxime the only player to breach the North End rear-guard this term, Kompany said: "I didn't really benchmark it against one of Europe's top sides, but a team that doesn't concede is a team that doesn't concede.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: Vincent Kompany, Manager of Burnley reacts during the Sky Bet Championship between Burnley and Millwall at Turf Moor on August 30, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

"That takes a lot of doing and as a former defender myself I can actually appreciate the effort that goes into it. It's a derby game, we've been scoring well, especially now we've seemed to find a bit more of a rhythm going forward.

"It's when you do it against these types of teams where you get the most rewards from it. It's going to be a hard graft, but we'll see where we end up."

PNE, however, are also the Championship's lowest scorers having netted twice in eight games. In fact, only Elche, Burgos and Dundee United have scored as few across the top two tiers of Europe's major leagues with Cadiz still without a goal.

On the other hand, only leaders Sheffield United and Bristol City (14) have scored more times than the Clarets in the Championship this season. The club's 12 goals have been shared across six players with former PNE midfielder Josh Brownhill and striker Jay Rodriguez leading the way with four apiece.

"There are two sides to it," said Kompany. "Everybody will say 'can you score more goals?' and on the other side there's a lot of steel in a team that can keep a result.

"These kinds of games get influenced by who scores first. If they score first you could probably write what's going to happen, and the type of challenges we'll probably have to overcome to win the game.

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"If we score first you could already write what they're going to have to do differently than what they've done so far. That's why from the first minute onwards we will have to be in our rhythm."

Kompany has played in his fair share of derbies throughout a decorated playing career and he appreciates that form can often go out of the window. That's why he won't be taking anything for granted.

The 36-year-old Belgian said: "It makes sense to not consider derbies as any different, but it is different, it is always the case. In derbies the competitive advantage disappears, whether you play home or away, the results have no correlation. I have known it that form doesn't come into it, rivalries and form can be completely unrelated.

"I've been in England long enough to know how these types of games get played. It will be interesting to see because you're playing against the strongest team in the league defensively, but these derbies tend to offer a different storyline. It will be interesting to see if both teams do what they do or if there's something different that will come out of this game."