Just four games to go now and so much still to play for in the Championship. Notably the race for promotion and it couldn’t really be much more finely poised as sides, in this case tussling for playoff places, head into the final quartet of fixtures.
Preston and Nottingham Forest meet at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon in a pivotal game in the race for the playoffs. For the latter I say the playoffs, because following Forest’s 1-0 loss to fellow promotion rivals Fulham last time out, Lamouchi’s side are now 12 short of second-placed West Brom heading into match day 43 and consolidating their playoff berth is a far more likely outcome for the two-time European Cup winners.
Alex Neil’s Preston on the other hand enjoyed a 3-1 win away at Sheffield Wednesday in their last game which thrusts them well back into contention now for a spot in the top six, after a pretty wretched run of form since the restart it must be said.
In terms of recent games between the sides, Preston have won two of the last six meetings, however this includes a run in which there have been four draws.
31.08.19 Championship Nottingham Forest 1-1 Preston
16.02.19 Championship Preston 0-0 Nottingham Forest
08.12.18 Championship Nottingham Forest 0-1 Preston
30.01.18 Championship Nottingham Forest 0-3 Preston
23.12.17 Championship Preston 1-1 Nottingham Forest
01.04.17 Championship Preston 1-1 Nottingham Forest
Preston remained without centre-back Paul Huntington for the crucial game at Deepdale on Saturday. The English defender is serving the final game of a three-match suspension following his dismissal against Derby on July 1st.
Forward Louis Moult remains out for the Lilywhites for some time still as the former Motherwell man steps up his recovery from an ACL injury.
Otherwise, Alex Neil has a clean bill of health for the visit of the midlands side.
From a Forest perspective, there are doubts over Joe Lolley’s fitness for the trip to Lancashire, this after suffering shin splints in the defeat to Fulham last time out.
Samba Sow may also be unable to play a part for Sabri Lamouchi after being substituted with an injury on Tuesday night.
This is a game with so much at stake as two promotion rivals go head-to-head. Yes, Forest especially will be disappointed at not being in the automatic picture but they still possess a side, who on their day, can beat anyone in the division.
However, with Preston just three points outside of the playoffs going into this game, I see it being a stalemate but an entertaining one as the climax of the Championship season draws even closer!
Score Prediction: Preston 2-2 Nottingham Forest
Match Preview written by Jack Mirkovic.