Preston North End vs Sheffield Wednesday preview: Both sides looking to build momentum after previous victories
Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan under pressure from Preston North End's Alan Browne during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale on April 27, 2019 in Preston, England. (Photo by Kevin Barnes - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Lee Bullen's team have had a great start to the season, winning three of their opening four league games, they face a Preston North End side who have won and lost two of their opening fixtures.

Although, both of their wins have come at Deepdale, where the two sides meet this weekend.

Last time out, Sheffield Wednesday beat newly promoted Luton Town 1-0, Kadeem Harris getting the winner just after the hour mark.

As for Alex Neil's side, they beat Stoke City 3-1 on Wednesday night, goals from Daniel Johnson, Billy Bodin and Josh Harrop gave them a deserved win, with the help of some poor goalkeeping from Jack Butland.

Johnson has become the only player in the Championship to have 2 or more goals and assists, after Neil began the season playing him in a more attacking role.

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Team news


The Lilywhites had an unfortunate injury hit season last time out and there is already some bad news in the 2019/20 campaign.

After picking up an injury in a 3-2 defeat against Swansea City, striker Louis Moult is set to miss the rest of the season, Neil confirmed.

"He's picked up a horrific injury that's nothing do with anything in particular.

"He just tried to take the ball and his planted foot sort of went away from him."

Summer signing David Nugent is yet to make his second debut for the Lancashire outfit, he is still unavailable through injury.

Captain Tom Clarke picked up a knock and had to be replaced in the win over Stoke on Wednesday night, Neil confirmed that he could miss the game on the weekend but there is a slight chance he could be in the matchday squad.

Sean Maguire should train with the squad in the build up to this game and be ready to play a part if called upon.

Left-back Andrew Hughes has started running on the grass again after he felt a strain on his hamstring in the win over Wigan Athletic, the manager insisted it is not a long term injury, although he may not be ready for this game.

Sheffield Wednesday:

Full-back Liam Palmer is 50-50 as to whether he will be fit enough to play a part on the weekend after recovering from a recent injury which caused him to miss out in midweek.

Bullen confirmed that Joe Wildsmith is slightly ahead of schedule in recovering from a knee injury, although they need to be patient with him, he will be unavailable for this one.

Other than that, the away side have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game.

'We know what they are capable of': Alex Neil prepared for a tough test on Saturday

Speaking to the media ahead of the game on the weekend, Neil admitted that he may look to freshen his team up after the previous fixture just a few days ago.

"Sheffield Wednesday is a very different [to Stoke] challenge and I will have look at their other games, to decide what are the best options, depending on who is available.

“I like to focus on one game at a time, but I would be lying if I said you didn’t cast an eye on the games coming up as well and who would be suited to them. You pick certain players against certain opposition and think about others further down the line and that’s something we will do.”

The Preston boss is more than aware of the dangers that Wednesday offer, he said:

“We know what they are capable of, they are not going to come with any surprises to us, it is just whether we can keep it quiet on the day and be at our maximum going the other way as well.

“They have played with inside forwards, with the likes of Reach in coming off the side and Forestieri dropping in off the side, but the two wide players have given them natural width, wanting to get to the byline. But I am sure Lee will be looking at the squad and deciding what he wants to do and the options he would use for this game."

'It’s probably one of the hardest away games we can get': Bullen hoping to improve on his side's recent results at Deepdale

Wednesday have not won against Preston at Deepdale since 2011, although Bullen is determined to change that and continue his teams positive start to the season.

“Yes, our record away from home at Preston doesn’t stand up too well and it’s probably one of the hardest away games we can get.

“But as with anything, the more negative results you’ve had against a certain opposition, the closer you are to getting that elusive win.”

The 48-year-old admitted that he was very impressed with North End on Wednesday night, but insisted he is confident his team have enough to cause them problems.

“I thought they were excellent the other night. We watched the game, they played really well against Stoke.

“But we have players who, when playing to their strengths and abilities, can cause Preston problems and that’s the aim."

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Predicted line-ups


Rudd, Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Rafferty, Pearson, Gallagher, Bodin, Johnson, Barkhuizen, Maguire.

Sheffield Wednesday:

Westwood, Odubajo, Borner, Lees, Fox, Reach, Hutchinson, Bannan, Harris, Murphy, Fletcher.