Preston North End host QPR at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon, where they will be looking to get their push for Championship promotion back on track.
Two 2-0 defeats away to promotion hopefuls West Brom and Fulham in each of their last two games have certainly damaged North End’s hopes of automatic promotion, but they are still in a strong position to secure a play-off place.
Alex Neil’s side are currently sixth in the Championship, two points clear of seventh-placed Bristol City, meaning a spot in the play-offs come the end of the season is still in their hands, providing they can start picking up wins again sooner rather than later.
One issue that could have a big say in that however, is possible injuries to key players, and Preston do have fitness issues to think about with several members of their squad.
Here, we run down the latest injury news coming out of Deepdale ahead of this weekend’s clash with QPR.
The big injury news coming out of Preston this week, surrounds Ben Pearson.
The holding midfielder, who has been a dominant force for North End in the centre of park for Preston, missed last week’s trip to Fulham with a hamstring injury, which Neil has since revealed could keep him out of action for a month.
As a result, Pearson will miss Saturday’s clash with QPR, and also looks likely to miss the trip to Luton, as well as home games with Cardiff and Derby.
Another player who looks set to be out of action for some time yet, is attacking midfielder Billy Bodin.
The 27-year-old has not featured for Preston since a 4-2 defeat to Norwich in the third round of the FA Cup on the opening weekend of the year due to an Achilles injury.
That problem seemingly means Bodin will need to undergo minor surgery in an attempt to solve the issue, meaning he is will not be available for North End in the immediate future at least.
Moult made just two appearances for Preston at the start of this – scoring once – before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a 3-2 defeat at Swansea back in August.
That injury is set to keep the forward out for the rest of the season, meaning it will be some time yet before the 27-year-old is seen on the football pitch again.
Another long-term absentee for Preston is Tom Bayliss.
The midfielder has made just four appearances in the cup competitions for North End since his move from Coventry last summer, and has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury in January.
It has been confirmed that injury will keep him out of the clash with QPR on Saturday, and it remains to be seen just when he will be available again.
One boost Preston have received on the injury front this week relates to Paul Gallagher.
The veteran midfielder missed last week’s trip to Fulham through illness, but Neil has confirmed that is something the 35-year-old has now recovered from, meaning he is available to face QPR on Saturday.
Given the latest news around Pearson, that is an update that feels particularly timely for Preston.