David Prutton has predicted an entertaining 2-2 draw when Preston North End host promotion-chasing Reading on Saturday lunchtime.
Both sides are heading in the right direction – with Alex Neil’s team winning at Birmingham City on Wednesday, whilst the Royals thrashed Coventry City 24 hours earlier to climb up to fifth.
But Preston having a successful campaign still rests on whether their home record can improve in the coming weeks.
Just four of their Championship victories this term have come at Deepdale, but with their form on their travels amongst one of the best in the division, the Lancashire outfit remain within touching distance of the top-six.
But Reading are one of the most inform sides in the second-tier at present – with their win against Coventry taking their tally to ten points from a possible 12 available since Christmas, which has seen them significantly strengthen their place at the top end of the standings.
Quiz: The top 16 Preston North End record player departures – Which club did they join though?
But what does Prutton think will happen at Deepdale? He told Sky Sports:
“A good win for Preston at Birmingham on Wednesday night to end a mini blip of back-to-back defeats. They are in and around that position they always seem to be in the Championship table. A tough opponent for anyone, but probably slightly too inconsistent at this stage to reach the play-offs.
“Reading have picked up 10 points from their last four games and are right back in the chase. It does not look like they are going anywhere and are a great bet for the play-offs. This game should have a few goals in it, but I think it will be a draw.”
With a limited Championship fixture list this weekend due to the FA Cu, this is the standout game in the second-tier.
But with both sides in relatively decent form, I think the points will be shared.
Preston’s home form is slowly improving, whilst Reading’s pace and quality on the counter-attack makes them an extremely dangerous opponent on the road, which is why I can see them cancelling each other out.