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

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

Preston North End and Swansea City will open their respective 2020-21 Championship campaigns with a clash at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon.

Swansea finished sixth in the Championship last term before losing to Brentford in the playoffs, while Preston ended the campaign in ninth, four points outside of the top six.


Match preview

Preston North End's Brad Potts celebrates scoring against Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship on July 8, 2020© Reuters

Eighteen wins, 12 draws and 16 defeats - that is how Preston performed in the Championship last season, with a total of 66 points leaving them in ninth spot in the table, four points outside of the playoff positions.

The fact that the Lilywhites missed out on the top six will certainly have been a disappointment, but they will be expecting to challenge high up the division once again.

Alex Neil's side have had an extremely quiet summer transfer window, meaning that there is likely to be a familiar look to their starting XI next term, although the current market does not close until the start of next month.

Preston have actually played five friendlies since the end of last season, most recently suffering a 2-0 defeat to Premier League side Everton on September 5.

Neil's team have also been in competitive action this season, thumping Mansfield Town 4-0 in the first round of the EFL Cup at the end of August to set up a second-round clash with Derby County.

Swansea City manager Steve Cooper pictured on June 27 2020© Reuters

Swansea, meanwhile, have also been in EFL Cup action this season, but a 2-0 defeat to Newport County on September 5 means that their journey in the competition is already over.

The Welsh outfit have otherwise only played one friendly - beating Forest Green Rovers at the start of the month - as their Championship campaign did not end until July 29.

Indeed, having finished sixth in the table, the Swans were drawn to play Brentford in the semi-finals of the playoffs but suffered a 3-2 aggregate loss to the Bees over two legs.

The club's supporters will be expecting another playoff push, and Steve Cooper's side have been relatively busy in the market, signing Jamal Lowe, Korey Smith, Freddie Woodman, Morgan Gibbs-White and Marc Guehi.

Rhian Brewster has returned to Liverpool following a loan spell at the Liberty Stadium, though, and Swansea must find a way of replacing the 10 Championship goals that the 20-year-old scored in the second half of the campaign.

Preston North End pre-season form: WDDDL
Preston North End form (all competitions 2020-21): W

Swansea City pre-season form: W
Swansea City form (all competitions 2020-21): L


Team News

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Morgan Gibbs-White celebrates after teammate Romain Saiss celebrates scoring their first goal in October 2019© Reuters

As mentioned above, Preston have had an incredibly quiet transfer window thus far, meaning that the team that takes to the field this weekend will have a familiar look.

Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen were both on the scoresheet against Mansfield in the EFL Cup at the end of August and are both expected to feature in attacking positions alongside Daniel Johnson.

Josh Harrop should also keep his spot in a wide area, with Paul Gallagher featuring in central midfield.

Swansea's squad is in good shape in terms of injuries, with Cooper confirming that George Byers, who has a groin problem, is the team's only confirmed absentee.

Gibbs-White is expected to make his Championship debut for the club through the middle, while fellow new arrival Lowe should also join Andre Ayew in the final third of the field.

A back three should include Guehi, Joe Rodon and Ben Cabango, while Connor Roberts and Jake Bidwell are expected to feature in the wing-back positions.

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

Swansea City possible starting lineup:
Woodman; Cabango, Guehi, Rodon; Roberts, Smith, Grimes, Bidwell; Gibbs-White; Ayew, Lowe


SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 1-1 Swansea City

This is a very difficult match to predict for a number of reasons. Both teams will feel that they are capable of hurting the other in the final third of the field, but it promises to be a tight encounter at Deepdale. We are struggling to separate the pair taking everything into consideration and have backed a low-scoring draw.


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 Preston North End and Swansea City?

Preston North End
Draw
Swansea City
Preston North End
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Swansea City
0.0%
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Graham Coughlan pictured in charge of Bristol Rovers in December 2019
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