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

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

Bournemouth will be looking to record a third consecutive victory on Saturday when they travel to Deepdale to take on Preston North End.

Jonathan Woodgate's side have enjoyed an upturn in form recently, which has seen them keep their sixth spot in the Championship table, but their playoff place remains under major threat from the chasing pack.


Match preview

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

Preston have struggled for form recently, picking up just two victories from their last nine Championship outings.

Most recently, Alex Neil's side fell to a 2-1 defeat away at Millwall on Tuesday night, when Ched Evans gave the Lancashire side the lead before a Scott Malone finish and a late Mason Bennett goal won the game for Millwall.

Before that, the Lilywhites recorded a 3-0 victory over strugglers Huddersfield Town, with Evans on the scoresheet again alongside Brad Potts and Scott Sinclair.

Neil's men now sit 14th due to their recent poor form and drop down the table, as they look set for a mid-table finish.

Worryingly for the Scottish manager, his side have one of the worst home records in the Championship this season, picking up just 18 points from their 17 games at Deepdale, losing nine of those matches.

That could be made even worse on Saturday, as they welcome a Bournemouth side with renewed confidence following consecutive victories.

Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate pictured on February 20, 2021© Reuters

Last time out, the Cherries recorded a crucial 2-1 victory away at a resurgent Bristol City side.

Tyreeq Bakinson put the hosts ahead early on, but Bournemouth drew level when Bristol City goalkeeper Daniel Bentley dropped the ball into his own net on the stroke of half time.

Centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers then headed a corner in at the back post in the final few minutes to seal all three points for Bournemouth.

Before that, they secured an impressive 1-0 win over Watford at the Vitality Stadium, as Arnaut Danjuma netted the only goal of the match before the game ended in a large melee which saw Joao Pedro and Jack Wilshere sent off.

Since his appointment, Woodgate has failed to bring about a consistent run of results, however their last two wins have provided a platform to build on as they aim to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Preston North End Championship form: WLLDWL

Bournemouth Championship form: DWLLWW


Team News

Bournemouth's Arnaut Danjuma celebrates scoring their first goal on February 27, 2021© Reuters

Sean Maguire remains a doubt for this game, despite making major progress following a recent injury, as Alex Neil is unlikely to risk the Irish attacker by throwing him back into action too quickly.

They have several other notable absentees too, as Ryan Ledson, Liam Lindsay, Paul Gallagher, Patrick Bauer and goalkeeper Declan Rudd all remain out of contention.

Meanwhile, club captain Alan Browne is also a doubt after missing the Millwall defeat with a minor injury.

Welsh striker Ched Evans will come into this game with some confidence, having scored in both of his last two games.

Bournemouth will remain without David Brooks, who has been absent from the squad for their last four games.

However, they will be boosted by the return of Jack Wilshere, who served his suspension last time out for the red card shown against Watford.

Ben Pearson could feature against his former club on Saturday, after he moved from Preston to Bournemouth in the January transfer window.

He faces tough competition in midfield though, as Wilshere, Lewis Cook, Philip Billing and Jefferson Lerma will all be battling for starting spots.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Van den Bergh, Storey, Hughes, Cunningham; Molumby, Whiteman; Barkhuizen, Johnson, Gordon; Evans

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Begovic; Smith, Carter-Vickers, S Cook, Kelly; L Cook, Lerma, Billing; Danjuma, Solanke, Stanislas


SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 0-2 Bournemouth

We expect the Cherries to secure a third consecutive win on Saturday as they look to strengthen their bid for a playoff place.

Preston have majorly struggled with injuries recently, and their weakened side should be outclassed by Woodgate's men, who come in with plenty of renewed confidence.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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General view of Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium taken August 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
2Watford422410859283182
3Swansea CitySwansea4222101052331976
4Brentford412014771403174
5Bournemouth4221111069412874
6Barnsley42218135446871
7Reading4219101357461167
8Cardiff CityCardiff4216121458461260
9Millwall421417114140159
10Queens Park RangersQPR421611155051-159
11Middlesbrough42169174947257
12Stoke CityStoke421414144546-156
13Luton TownLuton41168173646-1056
14Bristol City42156214156-1551
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn421311185448650
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest421213173441-749
17Preston North EndPreston42147214155-1449
18Coventry CityCoventry421212183956-1748
19Birmingham CityBirmingham421212183250-1848
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield421211194562-1747
21Derby CountyDerby421110213148-1743
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham40116234154-1339
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds42119223555-2036
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe42810243266-3434

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