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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.


Who will win Wednesday's Championship clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End?

Sheffield Wednesday
Preston North End
Sheffield Wednesday
Preston North End
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Swansea City manager Steve Cooper pictured on June 27 2020
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rhs 2.0
CLeeds UnitedLeeds46289977354293
5Cardiff CityCardiff4619161168581073
6Swansea CitySwansea461816126253970
7Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461816125850870
9Preston North EndPreston461812165954566
10Bristol City471812176366-366
11Derby CountyDerby461713166264-264
12Blackburn RoversBlackburn461712176663363
13Queens Park RangersQPR461610206776-958
15Stoke CityStoke46168226268-656
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461511205866-856
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461312215270-1851
19Luton TownLuton46149235482-2851
20Birmingham CityBirmingham461214205475-2150
RCharlton AthleticCharlton461212225065-1548
RWigan AthleticWigan461514175756147
RHull City46129255787-3045

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