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

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

Barnsley will be looking to keep their momentum going heading into the Championship playoffs when they travel to Preston North End on Saturday afternoon.

The Tykes have won their last two games and are guaranteed a top-six finish, while Preston have also won successive matches to climb into 14th place.

Match preview

Barnsley's Alex Mowatt celebrates scoring their first goal against Reading in the Championship on April 2, 2021© Reuters

Barnsley's victories over Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United by the same 1-0 scoreline over the past week have made certain of a place in the playoff semi-finals.

Valerien Ismael's charges have now won 23 Championship matches this season - only promoted pair Norwich City (28) and Watford (26) have more to their name.

Indeed, victory in this match will see Barnsley match their record for wins in a second-tier league season, level with the 24 managed in 1999-2000.

The Tykes have been nothing short of phenomenal since the end of January, winning 13, drawing four and losing just two of their 19 matches in that period.

They enter the penultimate round of fixtures in sixth place, but they can still climb as high as third if they win their two remaining games and others above them slip up.

While Barnsley's season is set to go on for at least another few weeks, Preston are entering the final week of their rather disappointing campaign.

Preston North End's Brad Potts celebrates with teammates after scoring against Norwich City in the Championship on April 2, 2021© Reuters

The Lilywhites are now under the management of Frankie McAvoy, who stepped in when Alex Neil departed the club a little over a month ago.

McAvoy has helped to steady the ship with 11 points from six matches, losing just once during that spell - albeit a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Brentford.

However, North End have picked up just two points in their previous five home league games against the current top six in the Championship this season.

That is something the hosts will be looking to put right this weekend as they battle for a top-half finish in the second tier.

Barnsley won 2-1 against Preston at Oakwell earlier this season, but the last time either side completed a league double in this fixture was in the 1950-51 campaign.

Preston North End Championship form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Barnsley Championship form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Barnsley's Daryl Dike celebrates scoring their first goal against Luton Town in the Championship on April 5, 2021© Reuters

Daniel Johnson has been ruled out of Preston's remaining two games, the midfielder joining Patrick Bauer and Declan Rudd on the sidelines.

McAvoy otherwise has no other injury problems to contend with, but the interim boss may well opt to give some younger players a run-out.

Brad Potts and Emil Riis Jakobsen are among those pushing for a recall to the side after being brought on as substitutes last time out.

As for Barnsley, they may still be without Dominik Frieser this weekend after he limped off in the recent win over Huddersfield.

Ismael is unlikely to rest any of his key players with the playoffs still a few weeks away, so Daryl Dike is in contention for another start.

The United States international has scored nine goals in 17 Championship appearances this season, with the Tykes winning 13 of those games (76%).

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Berg, Browne, Whiteman, Ledson, Barkhuizen; Maguire, Evans

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Collins; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Halme, Mowatt, Styles; Morris, Woodrow; Dike

SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 1-1 Barnsley

It is job done as far as Barnsley are concerned as they have already made certain of a place in the playoffs, but they will be eager to keep their momentum going with victory here.

Preston have hit a good patch of form themselves and, while the hosts do not have any real targets to aim for at this point, we can see them picking up what would be a good point.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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