Preston North End host Leeds United at Deepdale tonight, hoping to bounce back after a disappointing defeat at Reading on Saturday.
The Lilywhites head into tonight’s game sitting in sixth spot, knowing three points tonight would take them above Leeds and potentially into the automatic promotion places.
Preston will be confident of beating anyone in the league at home as they have the best home form in the Championship, winning five and drawing one of their six league matches at Deepdale.
Last time out at home, they beat struggling Barnsley 5-1, with Daniel Johnson netting twice. Alex Neil will be expecting a stiffer test against Marcelo Bielsa’s side tonight.
Lets have a look at a couple of weaknesses that Preston will look to exploit tonight…
Leeds’ defensive three
On Saturday at home to Birmingham City, Leeds lined up in a 3-5-2 system. If they employ that tonight, Preston will fancy themselves to score a few goals.
Although Leeds generally enjoy the majority of possession in any game, Ben Pearson will be working hard to break up the ball, and release the ball forward quickly.
Daniel Johnson, Josh Harrop and Sean Maguire are quick, tricky attacking players that will look to punish Leeds. Stuart Dallas and Egzijan Alioski could line-up as full-backs, but both players aren’t natural defenders and Preston will look to exploit that.
No Pablo Hernandez
Leeds are a better side with Hernandez, any Leeds fan could tell you that. Graham Smyth reported that Bielsa confirmed Hernandez is suffering with a new lower leg injury, that will keep him out of the trip to Deepdale.
Preston defenders will be pleased that Hernandez isn’t fit to start tonight. The Spaniard is one of the best players in the league, and started the season in great form, scoring two and assisting two in his first eight games.
Its already a six-pointer at Deepdale. Both teams are fighting for automatic promotion, and will be close come May. Preston will be confident at home, but Leeds could turn their dominance of possession into goals.