PNE Preview vs Millwall (H)

North End responded to the defeat at St Andrews two weeks ago with a fantastic result against Nottingham Forest last time out.

Louis Moult’s goal saw the Lilywhites pick up their second league win away from home this season.

That meant that North End are now seven points off the bottom three, with Saturday’s opponents Millwall sitting in 21st place and six points behind PNE.

The Lions have not picked up three points since October and will be desperate to ensure they do not slip into the bottom three on Saturday and make it seven games without a win with many games coming up from now until the new year.

The amount of fixtures coming up isn’t ideal for Preston, with Barker picking up a hamstring injury on Saturday and adding to the injury list for PNE which sees them struggling for numbers at the moment.

Although, Alex Neil’s men have been dealing with this issue and have lost just one game in their last 11.

The manager reflected on this run of form in his pre match press conference on Wednesday, he said:

“To do what we’ve done in the last 11 games considering the injuries we’ve had has been remarkable. We need to try and maintain it and kick on.

“We’ve been through a tricky spell and come out the other end of it. That can only make you stronger.

“We’re only four or five points different to where we were last year.

“Millwall had a really strong season last year but lost some key players. It proves you can’t rest on your laurels. For both us and Millwall it doesn’t matter what happened last year. It shows how things can fluctuate.”

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 has a hamstring problem which will see him out until the new year.

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 another couple of months.

Left-back Josh Earl came off at half time at St Andrews with a pulled quad, he will most likely miss the game on the weekend.

Brandon Barker will be out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

Alex Neil confirmed that Ben Pearson has resumed training and is hopeful he will be available to face Millwall.

Ben Davies, Tom Clarke and Daniel Johnson all returned to the starting XI against Nottingham Forest after their recent injuries.

Predicted XI

Rudd

Clarke Huntington Davies Hughes

Pearson Gallagher

Nmecha Browne Barkhuizen

Moult

Prediction: PNE 1-0 Millwall

It certainly will not be an easy game against a resilient Millwall side who will be desperate for a result due to their current league position, making it very difficult to predict this one.

It was very close between the two sides last season with both meetings ending in draws, including a goalless affair at Deepdale.

In fact, PNE haven’t beaten Milwall since 2006, although there has only been four league meetings between the two sides since then.

With the Lilywhites picking up a good result on the weekend they should be confident going into this game, whilst Ben Pearson will hopefully be the next key player to return from injury, so I will go for a home win.

@Adam_Thomason

@The92Blog

Picture Credit: Preston North End, Dave Kendall

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