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

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

Norwich City will be looking to make it back-to-back wins at the start of their 2020-21 Championship campaign when they host Preston North End on Saturday afternoon.

The Canaries opened their league season with a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield Town last weekend, while Preston started with a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Swansea City.


Match preview

Norwich City's Adam Idah celebrates scoring against Huddersfield Town on September 12, 2020© Reuters

Adam Idah came off the bench to score the winner last weekend as Norwich started their 2020-21 Championship campaign with a 1-0 success at Huddersfield.

The Canaries are viewed by many as the favourites to win the second tier this season, securing an immediate return to the Premier League in the process, and they will be determined to pick up another victory here.

The strength of Norwich's squad was shown last weekend when head coach Daniel Farke left new signings Jordan Hugill and Przemyslaw Placheta on the bench.

The club have also had a free week to prepare for this game as defeat to Luton Town in the first round of the EFL Cup earlier this month means that they have not been in cup action this week.

A victory for Farke's side on Saturday would lead them nicely into next Friday's trip to Bournemouth, but Preston won the last Championship clash between the two sides in February 2019.

Preston players celebrate scoring against Derby County in the EFL Cup on September 15, 2020© Reuters

Preston won 18, drew 12 and lost 16 of their 46 Championship matches last season, claiming 66 points to finish ninth in the table, four points outside of the playoff positions.

The Lilywhites will have been incredibly disappointed to have missed out on the top six, and it does appear that the club will struggle to challenge high up the table in 2020-21.

Alex Neil's side beat Derby County 2-1 in the second round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, but they opened their 2020-21 Championship campaign with a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Swansea.

There will be 1,000 supporters inside Carrow Road this weekend, meanwhile, as the contest has been chosen as a pilot event for the safe return of fans to stadiums.

Norwich City Championship form: W
Norwich City form (all competitions): LW

Preston North End Championship form: L
Preston North End form (all competitions): LW


Team News

Norwich City's Emiliano Buendia reacts on November 8, 2019© Reuters

The bulk of the XI that started against Huddersfield are expected to continue for Norwich this weekend, with Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey and Todd Cantwell all set to feature.

Teemu Pukki should also keep his spot at the tip of the attack despite the presence of Idah and Hugill, while Emiliano Buendia is expected to return to the XI at the expense of Kieran Dowell.

Onel Hernandez was replaced by Placheta against Huddersfield in the latter stages of the clash last weekend, but the former should again get the nod from the start.

As for Preston, it remains to be seen whether key player Daniel Johnson is involved amid the speculation surrounding his future.

Johnson, who continues to be linked with Rangers, was left out of the squad against Swansea last weekend, but he was a late substitute in the victory over Derby in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, netting his team's winner from the penalty spot in the final exchanges.

Paul Gallagher could replace Ryan Ledson in midfield for the visitors, while Scott Sinclair is expected to return to the starting side, having dropped to the bench against Derby.

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Quintilla; Skipp, McLean; Hernandez, Buendia, Cantwell; Pukki

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Ripley; Browne, Storey, Davies, Hughes; Gallagher, Pearson; Sinclair, Potts, Bodin; Barkhuizen


SM words green background

We say: Norwich City 2-0 Preston North End

Norwich are going to take some stopping this season if they manage to keep the majority of their star players. The Canaries got off to a winning start last weekend, and we expect Farke's side to put another three points on the board on Saturday afternoon.


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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Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Norwich City and Preston North End?

Norwich City
Draw
Preston North End
Norwich City
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Preston North End
0.0%
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