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

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

Two clubs with very little left to play for in the Championship will go head to head on Saturday as Preston North End host Luton Town.

Both sides' playoff chances were ended long ago due to inconsistent form, but they are also well clear of relegation trouble; the Lilywhites are 16th in the table and the Hatters are three points better off in 14th.


Match preview

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

While Preston as club may have little to play for, some onlookers might suggest that Alex Neil could be fighting for his job in the final nine games of the campaign.

Supporters are allegedly rapidly losing patience with the Scottish boss, with the Lancashire outfit currently on a run of two wins in 12 games.

Neil and captain Alan Browne were both sent off in Preston's 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, their third loss in four matches.

The Lilywhites have won just five of their 18 league games at Deepdale this season, while only Wycombe Wanderers and Huddersfield Town have conceded more than them in the Championship.

The home side will be desperate for a result on Saturday as after the international break they face promotion-chasing Norwich City, Swansea City and Brentford in three successive fixtures.

Luton Town's Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Bournemouth on January 16, 2021© Reuters

Unfortunately for the under-pressure Neil, Luton were 3-0 winners in the reverse fixture back in December thanks to James Collins's treble, but the Hatters have not won at Deepdale in their last 12 visits there since 1972.

Nathan Jones's men have also only scored eight goals away from home in the Championship this season – three fewer than any other team, while they have drawn a blank in six of their last eight matches on the road.

That is reflective of their overall shyness in front of goal, but Jones was pleased to see his side show a clinical nature on Tuesday night as a volley from James Bree and Elijah Adebayo's penalty secured a 2-0 victory over 10-man Coventry City.

It was only a second win in seven games for Luton and a first clean sheet in eight, and Jones will hope that his team can end the campaign on a high, safe in the knowledge they will not have to repeat last season's great escape.

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

Luton Town Championship form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W


Team News

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Preston will be without Browne after his red card against Middlesbrough, with Neil admitting that the club would not be appealing the ban but trying to reduce its length, which is currently three games.

Ben Whiteman and Jayson Molumby, both of whom appeared as substitutes on Tuesday night, are the obvious candidates to replace the Lilywhites skipper.

Greg Cunningham is pushing for a return at left-back after being rested in the last two matches, while Everton loanee Anthony Gordon could be given a chance on the left wing to try to create an attacking spark.

Jones could name the same Luton XI that started in the win against Coventry, although top scorer Collins is pushing for a recall upfront in place of Harry Cornick.

Defenders Dan Potts and Sonny Bradley remain sidelined; Tom Lockyer is back in training, although assistant manager Mick Harford has suggested that the centre-back may be saved ahead of Wales duty next week.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Van Den Berg, Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham; Molumby, Gallagher; Barkhuizen, Johnson, Gordon; Evans

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Pearson, Rea, Naismith; Bree, Dewsbury-Hall, Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Clark; Cornick, Adebayo


SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 0-1 Luton Town

With little on the line in this match, it may ultimately come down to who wants it more and based off recent showings, we are siding with Luton in that regard. That said, both of these sides have been notoriously unpredictable this season so it is tough to call.



Top 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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How you voted: Preston vs Luton

Preston North End
28.9%
Draw
18.4%
Luton Town
52.6%
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Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in December 2020
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Nathan Jones believes Luton are "evolving" in Championship
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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