Preston Play-Off Plans To Be Scuppered By Managerless Blues



Preston are five points off the playoff places and a push for the top six now looks unlikely following their 1-0 defeat to Brentford last time out with just two games to go. 


Birmingham are practically safe following Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Charlton and they sit five points above the relegation zone. So who knows what this game entails, what we do know however is that any result in the Championship is not a given and both sides will be aware of their targets, albeit being unrealistic with just two matchdays remaining now.


The visitors have been in dire form since the restart, picking up just three points from 21 available post-lockdown, and such poor results have led their manager Pep Clotet to step down as head coach a month earlier then expected. 


Head-to-head:

Preston have won four of the last six league meetings between the sides; in fact Birmingham have only won two of the last 13 against the Lilywhites.


21.09.19 Championship Birmingham 0-1 Preston 

16.03.19 Championship Preston 1-0 Birmingham

01.12.18 Championship Birmingham 3-0 Preston

20.01.18 Championship Preston 1-1 Birmingham

16.09.17 Championship Birmingham 1-3 Preston 

14.02.17 Championship Preston 2-1 Birmingham 


Team news:

Preston look set to be without central defender Ben Davies for the visit of the Blues. Although Ben Pearson and Alan Browne both did not play at Griffin Park the pair are pushing for inclusion here for Alex Neil’s side.


Louis Moult remains out injured for the rest of the season for the hosts.


In terms of the visitors, Jude Bellingham will be unlikely to feature having completed his medical at Borussia Dortmund this past week.


Josh McEachran is still nursing a knee injury, so the trip to Deepdale will most likely come too soon for the former Chelsea and Brentford youngster. 


Jake Clarke-Salter will also be assessed ahead of the trip up to Lancashire.


Prediction:

This is definitely not the most enthusing of the Championship fixtures this weekend. Birmingham have been poor since the restart and the loss of Pep Clotet just before the season is up is particularly untimely for them to say the least.


They should be safe though despite it still not being mathematically certain that point against Charlton in midweek was crucial.


Preston must win to have any chance of a playoff spot, although they’re relying on a number of teams above them all dropping points. It just isn’t going to happen, I think it’s safe to say.


I think that factor could tell the story of this one. I see a stalemate being played out in both sides’ penultimate games.



Match Preview written by Jack Mirkovic