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

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

Relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday welcome playoff-chasing Preston North End to Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon.

The Owls are still playing catch-up following a six-point deduction at the start of the season and are six points from safety with a game in hand.

Opponents Preston are in 11th place, meanwhile, and are six points adrift of the top six with a little under half of the season to go.


Match preview

Sheffield Wednesday's Callum Patterson scores against Brentford in the Championship on October 21, 2020© Reuters

Wednesday fell to a 2-0 loss away to Coventry City in their last league outing, ending a four-game unbeaten run that had seen them collect 10 points from a possible 12.

Interim boss Neil Thompson has more than steadied the ship following Tony Pulis's surprise departure, but there is still a lot of work for Wednesday to do if they are to stay up.

If nothing else, the Owls have at least made Hillsborough a fortress once again, winning three games in a row at home. Not since January 2016 have they won four on the spin there.

The Yorkshire side also have a good record against Preston on home soil, winning five of the last six in the league, although that one defeat did come in the most recent encounter.

Indeed, Preston have won three in a row against Wednesday and are seeking a fourth victory on the bounce in this fixture for the first time since between 1981 and 2002.

The Lilywhites will be confident of extending that winning run as they have taken four points from their last two games to remain in the playoff mix.

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

Alex Neil's men have conceded just three goals in their last seven league games, compared to 16 conceded in the previous seven.

After firing a blank in their stalemate with Reading last time out, though, Neil will be eager to get his strikers back firing.

Lucas Joao missed a late penalty for Reading in that match and Neil admitted afterwards that his side need to improve in the final third.

Against a Wednesday side that have lost their last two games by a combined five goals without scoring in all competitions, this could be a good chance to do exactly that.

Sheffield Wednesday Championship form: LWDWWL
Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions): DWWWLL

Preston North End Championship form: WWLLWD
Preston North End form (all competitions): WLLLWD


Team News

Callum Paterson celebrates scoring for Sheffield Wednesday against Derby County on January 1, 2021© Reuters

Wednesday are still without Moses Odubajo after the winger sat out the Coventry match with a hamstring issue.

Liam Shaw also missed that most recent outing with a shoulder issue and is to be assessed ahead of Saturday's clash, which is also the case for Chey Dunkley.

Versatile forward Callum Paterson has scored in each of his last two home league matches - the only Wednesday player to have scored more than once at Hillsborough in the league this season (four goals).

As for Preston, Greg Cunningham returned to the club on loan from Cardiff City on Thursday and may come straight into the side.

Sean Maguire has missed North End's last two games, meanwhile, and is not expected to feature in this one.

Billy Bodin, Declan Rudd, Patrick Bauer and Louis Moult are all still sidelined.

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Borner, Penney; Pelupessy, Hutchinson; Reach, Bannan, Green; Windass

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Browne, Huntington, Davies, Rafferty; Ledson, Whiteman; Sinclair, Molumby, Potts; Jakobsen


SM words green background

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Preston North End

Wednesday appear to have lost their momentum following back-to-back losses in all competitions, whereas Preston can be happy with their recent form.

The Lilywhites have won three in a row against Wednesday in the league and we are backing them to extend that winning run this weekend.


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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich41279565283790
2Watford412410759273282
3Swansea CitySwansea412291050311975
4Brentford402013771403173
5Bournemouth4120111066402671
6Barnsley412181254441071
7Reading411991356451166
8Cardiff CityCardiff4116111457451259
9Millwall411416114140158
10Middlesbrough41169164845357
11Queens Park RangersQPR411511154850-256
12Stoke CityStoke411413144546-155
13Luton TownLuton40158173546-1153
14Bristol City41155214055-1550
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest411213163439-549
16Preston North EndPreston41146214155-1448
17Blackburn RoversBlackburn411211185247547
18Birmingham CityBirmingham411112183150-1945
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield411111194362-1944
20Derby CountyDerby411110203046-1643
21Coventry CityCoventry401012183656-2042
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham38116214152-1139
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds41118223454-2035
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe4189243064-3433

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