PNE Preview vs Middlesbrough (H)

The Lilywhites have now gone eight league games in a row unbeaten, which is quite an achievement in the Championship.

This comes after a 4-1 win over Lancashire rivals Blackburn, where 20,000 fans inside Deepdale watched Alex Neil’s men come away with a vital win.

Despite this, PNE are still just four points away from the bottom three, although the distance from the top six is now 10 points, showing just how close the Championship is.

There was also yet another injury for Alex Neil to put up with, as Callum Robinson, arguably North End’s best performer this season became the latest player to be out until at least the new year.

Second placed Middlesbrough travel to Deepdale on Tuesday night, under the guidance of Tony Pulis they find themselves in second place and have conceded just nine goals in their opening 18 league games, the closest team to that is Forest who have let in 16 goals.

After not being involved in the cup game earlier on in the season, former PNE striker Jordan Hugill is set to return to Deepdale, he joined Middlesbrough on loan from West Ham and has scored three goals in his last two games.

He joined PNE in 2014 and scored 23 goals league goals from 69 appearances, although only half of those were starts.

Team News

Josh Harrop and Billy Bodin are both still struggling with long term ACL injuries which may keep both out of action until next season.

Callum Woods has yet to return to a match day squad since his injury at the start of the season which was coupled with another on his return to training.

During the international break, last season’s top scorer Sean Maguire, who missed so much of the last campaign as well as all of this one until the Wigan game in October, came of injured just minutes after coming on for the Republic Of Ireland.

It was yet another hamstring problem and he will be out until the new year.

The final blow for Preston in this international break was the injury to Daniel Johnson.

North End confirmed that the midfielder will be out for 4-6 weeks.

Finally, during the 4-1 victory over Blackburn, PNE’s top goal scorer Callum Robinson picked up a hamstring injury after scoring his tenth goal of the season, he will be out for a minimum of three months.

Predicted XI

Rudd

Clarke Huntington Davies Earl

Pearson Gallagher

Barkhuizen Browne Barker

Moult

Prediction:

PNE 1-1 Middlesbrough

It will certainly be a test for PNE to extend their unbeaten run to nine games against second place Middlesbrough, especially with them conceding so few goals and North End having so many key forward players out injured. Despite that, I am going to predict that the Lilywhites keep up their good run of form with a point on Tuesday night.

@Adam_Thomason_

@The92Blog

Picture Credit: Preston North End FC

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