PNE Preview vs Birmingham (A)

After a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, Preston remain at the top of the Championship form table with their unbeaten run extending to nine games.

Despite six big absences for the game, five of those being long term, North End probably deserved all three points.

The injury crisis is going to be a problem for the Lilywhites going in to this busy festive period, but they are going into it in great form.

Despite this, the point in midweek means they are still only five points above the relegation zone, so they will be hopeful of keeping up their unbeaten run and creating a gap between them and the bottom three this weekend.

And they certainly have a good record against Birmingham, with 2006 being the last time North End lost against them.

Since then, there has been nine meetings between the two sides, they have all come in the Championship, with Preston winning five of those and drawing the rest.

Team News

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

Last season’s top scorer Sean Maguire came of injured just minutes after coming on for the Republic Of Ireland in the most recent international break.

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

Midfielder Daniel Johnson is also out, he will be unavailable for another 4-5 weeks.

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.

Ben Davies was left out of the squad to play Middlesbrough on Tuesday night with an injury, Alex Neil says he is “hopeful that he will stand a chance for this weekend.”

Predicted XI

Rudd

Clarke Storey Davies Earl

Pearson Gallagher

Barkhuizen Browne Barker

Moult

Prediction

Birmingham 2-2 PNE

The amount of injuries will definitely be an issue for Alex Neil’s men over the next few weeks. Despite the performance against Middlesbrough and their positive record at St Andrew’s, I think it will be a difficult game for Preston to win.

But, I do think that the Lilywhites will extend their unbeaten run to 10 games and come away with a point.

@Adam_Thomason_

@The92Blog

Picture Credit: Preston North End

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