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

Sport Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Preston North End and Birmingham City, including predictions, team news and possible starting lineups.

Preston North End will be hoping to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat against Millwall on Wednesday as they welcome Birmingham City to Deepdale.

Birmingham, however, will be in high spirits after their 2-1 win over Huddersfield, featuring a late winner by Lukas Jutkiewicz in what was their first victory since the opening day of the season.


Match preview

Preston boss Alex Neil on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Preston's poor home form continues as they suffered yet another loss at Deepdale on Wednesday evening - this time, failing to score against Millwall.

This means that Alex Neil's men are now goalless in all four home games this season, with the Lilywhites also failing to pick up a single point during these fixtures - putting them in 13th.

During their latest clash against the Lions, the hosts failed to produce a shot on target until the 68th minute, with Neil's side struggling to get into the game.

A simple finish by Kenneth Zohore in the early moments of the second half, followed by a late penalty from Jed Wallace, confirmed the three points for the visitors.

Birmingham City's Gary Gardner celebrates scoring against Huddersfield Town in the Championship on October 28, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Birmingham will be happy with their recent victory over Huddersfield, finally ending a six-game winless run in the league.

The Blues went ahead in the 27th minute courtesy of a powerful header from Gary Gardner after finding a free kick from Jeremie Bela.

However, Birmingham witnessed a scare in the latter stages of the match as Isaac Mbenza got the equaliser with just five minutes remaining.

Fortunately for the hosts, they were able to produce some late magic when Jutkiewicz slotted one home in the 90th minute, finding the rebound after Jonathan Leko hit the bar.

Their most recent result means they leapfrog their latest opponents to 15th place in the table as they head into their upcoming game.

Birmingham last met Preston in July earlier this year, with the Lilywhites coming out on top in a 2-0 win.

Preston North End Championship form: LWWLWL

Birmingham City Championship form: WDLLDD


Team News

Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on October 4, 2020© Reuters

After failing to make the starting XI in their previous game against Millwall, Ben Davies should finally make his way back into the side for Preston, replacing Jordan Storey in defence.

Darnell Fisher could also return on Saturday, with Ben Pearson expected to come back soon following a groin problem he picked up against Cardiff.

Despite the Lilywhites failing to score in their recent game, Neil will be desperate for his team to get back to goalscoring ways on home soil. Therefore, he may opt to start Scott Sinclair again, with the winger scoring four times this campaign.

As for Birmingham, Aitor Karanka is expected to start Jutkiewicz at the weekend, with the striker coming off the bench to score the winner on Wednesday.

Jon Toral could also make his return, after battling a groin problem in recent weeks - however, long-term absentee Josh McEachran could remain on the sidelines.

Adam Clayton is also set to miss out, with the midfielder picking up an ankle injury in their latest win over Huddersfield.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Browne, Ledson; Sinclair, Johnson, Potts; Jakobsen

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Colin, Roberts, Dean, Friend; Sunjic, Gardner; Sanchez, Toral, Bela; Jutkiewicz


SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 1-1 Birmingham City

Preston will be desperate to at least claim a point in this match following their horrific home form this season. However, with Birmingham fresh off their victory against Huddersfield, they may have what it takes to secure a draw on Saturday.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data

ID:420247:cQx

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

Preston North End
Draw
Birmingham City
Preston North End
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Birmingham City
100%
1
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich148421811728
2Bournemouth1476123131027
3Swansea CitySwansea14752168826
4Reading148242318526
5Bristol City147341714324
6Brentford146532013723
7Watford136521811723
8Stoke CityStoke146442118322
9Blackburn RoversBlackburn1463527161121
10Middlesbrough13562148621
11Millwall144821210220
12Luton TownLuton145451117-619
13Huddersfield TownHuddersfield145361819-118
14Cardiff CityCardiff144551713417
15Queens Park RangersQPR144551620-417
16Barnsley144461516-116
17Birmingham CityBirmingham143741012-216
18Preston North EndPreston145181721-416
19Rotherham UnitedRotherham143471418-413
20Coventry CityCoventry143471424-1013
21Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest14338917-812
22Wycombe WanderersWycombe14248720-1310
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds14356712-58
24Derby CountyDerby14149621-157

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