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Preview: Preston North End vs. Bristol City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between Preston North End and Bristol City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Preston North End and Bristol City square off at Deepdale on Friday evening having both lost their last two fixtures in the Championship.

While the visitors have dropped outside of the playoff places, the home side are now nine points adrift of the top six after defeat to Barnsley.


Match preview

Bristol City manager Dean Holden pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Before the beginning of the season, the majority of Bristol City supporters would have taken sitting just two points adrift of the playoffs after 19 matches.

However, it is a case of what could have been for the Robins, who have recorded four defeats in six matches, the latest coming at home to out-of-form Millwall on Tuesday evening.

Dean Holden would have viewed that contest as a must-win, particularly after his team's disappointing 2-0 defeat at Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon.

While there was an element of fortune for Millwall's opener, Bristol City barely laid a glove on their opponents at Ashton Gate, leaving the team with just one goal from 360 minutes of football.

Like the visitors, Preston have lost their way again in recent games, succumbing in successive fixtures at Luton Town and Barnsley.

Although collecting seven points from a possible 15 has lifted Alex Neil's team clear of the drop zone, the Scot will be desperately disappointed that the club have not been able to move further up the standings.

Inconsistency has been Preston's issue throughout the campaign, and they are now one of just five teams to have lost over half of their second-tier fixtures since the start of September.

Despite making a habit of causing surprises against the bigger clubs in the division, earning nothing from the games versus the teams around them will keep the side in the bottom half of the table.

Preston North End Championship form: LWDWLL

Bristol City Championship form: LWLWLL


Team News

Preston North End manager Alex Neil pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Neil is likely to freshen up his attack with the inclusion of Scott Sinclair and Jayden Stockley.

After five substitute appearances in recent weeks, Tom Bayliss cannot be too far away from a first Championship start of the season.

Bristol City will be without Famara Diedhiou after the forward was sent off against the Lions on Tuesday night.

Holden is expected to make several alterations to his starting XI with Zak Vyner, Callum O'Dowda and Antoine Semenyo all in line for a recall.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Fisher, Davies, Hughes, Earl; Browne, Bayliss; Barkhuizen, Johnson, Sinclair; Stockley

Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Bentley; Moore, Kalas, Vyner; Hunt, Bakinson, Nagy, O'Dowda, Rowe; Martin, Semenyo


SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 1-2 Bristol City

With both sides having lost their way in the second tier, anything could happen in the game in the North-West. Although Preston have recently improved at their home ground, we are backing Bristol City to return to form with a sixth away success of the season.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Millwall manager Gary Rowett pictured in September 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bournemouth8530146818
2Fulham85121871116
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom8440147716
4Coventry CityCoventry851296316
5Stoke CityStoke84221110114
6Blackburn RoversBlackburn8341118313
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield84131311213
8Queens Park RangersQPR83321612412
9Bristol City8332109112
10Cardiff CityCardiff8323119211
11Birmingham CityBirmingham83231010011
12Derby CountyDerby824267-110
13Luton TownLuton82421214-210
14Reading83141518-310
15Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd8233121209
16Middlesbrough8233910-19
17Preston North EndPreston8233911-29
18Millwall8152810-28
19Barnsley815269-38
20Blackpool8224712-58
21Swansea CitySwansea8143711-47
22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough82151017-77
23Hull City8125512-75
24Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest8116712-54

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