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Preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Preston North End – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End, including team news and predicted lineups.

Huddersfield Town will be looking to further distance themselves from the Championship relegation zone when they play host to Preston North End at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

In contrast, Preston have seen their playoffs hopes dwindle following a 1-0 defeat to Derby County - their fifth loss in six outings.

Match preview

Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley pictured on July 1, 2020© Reuters

Huddersfield took a giant stride towards safety as they enjoyed an impressive 3-0 victory away at Birmingham City in midweek, ending a three-game losing streak in doing so.

Goals from Karlan Grant, Fraizer Campbell and Elias Kachunga means that the Terriers move up to 19th, three points clear of the relegation zone before 22nd-placed Hull City take on 20th-placed Middlesbrough on Thursday.

Huddersfield have given themselves some much-needed breathing space with six gameweeks left of the season, but a margin of three points will certainly not have Danny Cowley sitting comfortably just yet.

However, the Terriers now have the perfect opportunity to carry that momentum forward against an out-of-sorts Preston side, and Cowley's men also have fixtures against three bottom-half teams in Reading, Luton Town and Sheffield Wednesday to look forward to in the coming weeks.

For now though, they will be aiming to record their first home win since the restart on their second attempt – having succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Wigan Athletic at the John Smith's Stadium on the first weekend back.

Preston manager Alex Neil on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Preston drifted further away from the top six as their dismal run of form continued against Derby on Wednesday evening.

Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the game as Preston's winless run in the second division stretched to six matches, and their hopes of a playoff place are looking all the more slim at this crucial stage of the campaign.

Alex Neil's men are losing more and more ground in the race for promotion every week, and Preston now lie in ninth on 57 points, four adrift of sixth-placed Cardiff City with six games left to play.

Preston have only managed to salvage one point from their first three fixtures since the restart – and even then they were given a run for their money by the Championship's basement side Luton Town as the clubs played out a 1-1 draw.

A top-six finish is still a real possibility for the Lilywhites, but the promotion chasers have only picked up three wins from their last 12 away outings in the second tier.

Nevertheless, Preston did manage to inflict a 3-1 defeat on Huddersfield when the sides locked horns at Deepdale earlier in the campaign.

Huddersfield Town Championship form: WWLLLW

Preston North End Championship form: LLLDLL

Team News

Huddersfield Town's Fraizer Campbell celebrates scoring against Birmingham on July 1, 2020© Reuters

Juninho Bacuna is unavailable for Huddersfield as he serves the second of a three-match suspension following his sending off against Nottingham Forest.

Steve Mounie was fit enough to make an appearance off the bench and bag an assist against Birmingham, but Campbell is expected retain his place up top.

Tommy Elphick remains out for the Terriers, but Cowley otherwise has a fully-fit squad to pick from as Huddersfield look to avoid back-to-back relegations.

Louis Moult is the only confirmed absentee for Preston, with Neil likely to shake things up again as fixtures come thick and fast for the out-of-form Lilywhites.

The likes of Tom Barkhuizen, Darnell Fisher, Sean Maguire and Patrick Bauer are all in contention to feature from the first whistle having been named amongst the substitutes against Derby.

Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Lossl; Duhaney, Schindler, Stearman, Toffolo; Hogg, King; Kachunga, Pritchard, Grant; Campbell

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Fisher, Bauer, Huntington, Hughes; Browne, Pearson; Barkhuizen, Johnson, Gallagher; Maguire

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We say: Huddersfield Town 2-1 Preston North End

Huddersfield's confidence ought to be sky high following their impressive victory at St Andrew's, whereas Preston are showing no signs of a revival as the fight to make the playoffs hots up. That being said, we are backing the Terriers to record their second victory on the bounce and condemn Preston to their third defeat in a row on Saturday afternoon.

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Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley pictured on July 1, 2020
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