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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End, including team news and predicted lineups.

Preston North End are running out of time to revive their Championship promotion hopes as they gear up for their midweek trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

Alex Neil's side have slipped down to 10th place and are now six points off the playoffs, while Wednesday have lost back-to-back games and are in 15th.


Match preview

Sheffield Wednesday players celebrate scoring against Bristol City on June 28, 2020© Reuters

Preston headed into the three-month hiatus in possession of the fourth and final playoff spot, despite a 3-1 home loss to Queens Park Rangers in their last match before lockdown.

The Lilywhites have failed to win since returning to action, however, and are now winless in seven matches overall since beating Hull City on February 22.

A return of two points from the last 21 on offer has seen Neil's men slip out of the playoff places, with the gap on sixth-placed Cardiff City now standing at six points.

With only five games to go in the regular season, North End may well have to win each of their remaining fixtures if they are to have any hope of returning to the top six.

That means picking up three points against a Wednesday side who themselves have struggled for victories either side of the coronavirus-enforced break.

Preston boss Alex Neil on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Garry Monk's charges have won only two of their last 14 matches in all competitions, the most recent of those victories coming against Bristol City a couple of weeks ago.

Since then, though, they have lost 3-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion and 2-1 at Swansea City, the latter of which left Monk ruing his side's lack of "killer instinct".

The good news for Wednesday is that they have won their last five home league matches against Preston in a run stretching back to the 2011-12 season.

However, they have only won one of their last nine Championship games at Hillsborough and are winless there in their three games since beating Charlton Athletic in February.

Preston will be looking to capitalise on that poor return, although they themselves are winless in their last seven away matches and have scored just three times in that run.

It is the Lilywhites who have more riding on this match in Yorkshire, however, knowing that a victory will just about keep their promotion aspirations intact.

Sheffield Wednesday's Championship form: LLDWLL
Sheffield Wednesday's form (all competitions): LLDWLL

Preston North End's Championship form: LLDLLD


Team News

Atdhe Nuhiu in action for Sheffield Wednesday on January 15, 2019© Reuters

Atdhe Nuhiu scored a consolation goal late on against Swansea after being introduced from the bench and may have done enough to earn a place in the starting lineup.

Another player pushing for a recall is Kadeem Harris, who could replace Adam Reach out on the left for Wednesday's clash at Hillsborough.

On the opposite flank, Jacob Murphy has made two assists in his last three Championship games, which is as many as he managed in his previous 48 combined.

As for Preston, they will be without Paul Huntington after he was hit with a retrospective three-match ban for violent conduct in the recent loss to Derby County.

Louis Moult remains sidelined through injury, meanwhile, but Neil otherwise has a full group of players to choose from.

Sean Maguire and Scott Sinclair will both be hoping to return to the XI after starting Saturday's stalemate with Huddersfield Town on the bench.

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Wildsmith; Palmer, Iorfa, Borner; Murphy, Luongo, Bannan, Lee, Harris; Wickham, Nuhiu

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Brown, Pearson, Ledson; Barkhuizen, Maguire, Sinclair


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Preston North End

Sheffield Wednesday are winless in four games at home, while Preston North End have not won any of their last four away matches. It all points to a draw at Hillsborough in this clash between two out-of-form sides.



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Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

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