Preston North End vs Nottingham Forest preview: Visitors look to make play-off finish all but certain
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest look to further strengthen their chances of finishing in the play-offs when they travel to Preston North End - a side themselves that are pushing for a spot inside the top six.

Forest currently sit in fifth place, five points ahead of seventh placed Swansea City, which means that a victory against the Lilywhites with only three games remaining after that, would make it all but certain for Sabri Lamouchi's side to achieve a play- off finish.

However, they come into the game on the back of a 1-0 loss against play-off rivals Fulham at the City Ground, but this was their first defeat since the restart, having won two and drawing two in the four games that they have played since the 20th June.

In comparison,  Preston are experiencing a poor reign of  form as their victory away to Sheffield Wednesday in their previous fixture was their first in eight games.

Despite this, Alex Neil's side still have a shot at a play-off finish as they are positioned in eighth, only three points adrift of sixth placed Cardiff City.

Although, if they want any chance of achieving this, they are going to have to have a good end to the season which is going to be no easy task, especially since that they still have to travel to high flying Brentford.

Team news

Ahead of the encounter, Preston have centre back Paul Huntington unavailable, as he has to serve the final of his three game suspension following his red card for violent conduct in the home defeat to Derby County on the 1st July.

Louis Moult remains unavailable after a long term absence.

Neil may make a couple of alterations from the team that started at Sheffield Wednesday, as on that occasion his second half substitutions changed the course of the game.

This is due to the fact that Scott Sinclair, Jayden Stockley and Brad Potts all came off the bench to bag a goal each to help guide the Lilywhites to a 3-1 win at Hillsborough. 

On the other hand, Forest may not start midfielder Samba Sow from the off after he was substituted due to an injury at the interval against Fulham, meaning that either Alfa Semedo or Ryan Yates may be opted to sit alongside Ben Watson in midfield.

In addition, Lamouchi has admitted that winger Joe Lolley is doubtful for the clash at Deepdale after also coming off at half time on Tuesday, due to him suffering with shin splints.

Therefore, with his potential absence, on loan Huddersfield Town winger Adama Diakhaby or Joao Carvalho who has only featured for 17 minutes since the restart, could come in to replace the player who has so far in this Championship this season scored nine and assisted eight goals.

Previous clashes

In the reverse fixture at the end of August, an Albert Adomah strike ten minutes from time cancelled out a 39th minute opener by Preston's Billy Bodin to seal a 1-1 draw at City Ground.

This result for Preston extended their unbeaten record against Forest to seven games with their last win against the Lilywhites coming in March 2016 when a Nelson Oliviera goal at the City Ground sealed 1-0 win for the hosts.

Even though Neil's team have failed to lose against Forest in over four years, in that time they have only won on two occasions, both of those coming during the 2017/18 campaign.

Preston also have a decent record at home to Forest in recent times,  as the latter have not earned a victory at Deepdale in their last four outings there.

In fact, their last win at Preston came in a 2-0 win in the fourth round of the FA Cup back in February 2014.

Although, Forest''s winless run away to Preston in the Championship stretches back even further to September 2010 when a double by Lewis Mcgugan helped his side to a 2-1 victory.

Despite this poor record, with the form and fantastic season that Forest have had so far added with the fact that the game is being played behind closed doors, consequently Lamouchi's side will be  confident that they can come out of Saturday's clash with all three points.

Predicted Lineups

Preston North End: 

Rudd; Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Pearson, Ledson; Barkhuizen, Browne, Sinclair; Stockley.

Nottingham Forest: 

Samba; Cash, Worrall, Figueiredo, Ribiero; Watson, Yates; Ameobi, Silva, Carvalho; Grabban.

This clash between two sides aiming for a chance to play in the play-offs is set to take place on Saturday at 3PM, and is being streamed live on iFollow.

 

VAVEL Logo