PNE Preview vs Ipswich (A)

After what felt like a disappointing draw last time out against Rotherham at Deepdale, North End are now unbeaten in five Championship games.

Despite that, they are now in 20th position, just two points above the drop zone, making it important to extend the gap between bottom club Ipswich even at this early stage.

There will be a sense of optimism around Portman Road even with how the table is looking and after the 3-0 defeat to Millwall last time out.

That is because former Stoke City and Blackburn manager Paul Lambert will take charge of his first game after Paul Hurst was sacked, the Scotsman signed a contract until 2021.

Once more Preston will be looking to improve on their defensive display in Suffolk after conceding another poor goal against Rotherham, whilst last time out at Portman Road, Alex Neil’s men lost 3-0.

In fact, PNE have not beaten Ipswich in the league since 2010 and have scored just once in their last three meetings with them.

Although, scoring goals has not been a problem at all for North End this season, despite their poor position in the table.

They are the fourth highest scorers in the division, only West Brom, Sheffield United and Leeds have scored more, with Callum Robinson already equalling his goal tally from the whole of last season.

Along with Bolton, Ipswich are the joint lowest scorers in the league and are joint second worst with Reading in terms of goals conceded, only Preston have conceded more.

Team News:

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Alex Neil confirmed that winger Billy Bodin, who picked up an injury in pre-season training, will most likely not play for PNE this season, the manager said:

“I very much doubt he will be back and featuring this season”.

Josh Harrop picked up an ACL injury just like Bodin in the home defeat to West Brom and will most likely miss the rest of the season too.

Callum Woods is still out after picking up another injury after returning to training with a knee problem he sustained in his last match in August.

Brandon Barker and Ryan Ledson both missed the game against Rotherham with injuries but the gaffer has hinted that they will be available should he call upon them for the trip to Portman Road.

Predicted XI:

Maxwell

Fisher Huntington Davies Hughes

Pearson Browne

Barkhuizen Johnson Robinson

Nmecha

Prediction:

Ipswich 2-2 PNE

With North End scoring a lot of goals at the moment they are more than capable of getting a couple in what will hopefully be a rare result against Ipswich as of late, although the defensive performances this season have been worrying on the whole. It seems to me like this one could really go either way, so why not go for a draw.

@Adam_Thomason_

@The92Blog

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