Sheffield Wednesday vs Preston North End preview:
How to watch, kick-off time, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday will be hoping to return to winning ways as they welcome mid-table Preston North End to Hillsborough Stadium on Saturday 30 January.

The Owls suffered a 2-0 defeat to Coventry City on Wednesday night, which kept them in 23rd in the EFL Championship, having played now just one game less of those outside of the bottom three with a six-point gap.

Wednesday remain managerless after the sacking of Tony Pulis in December, however, they have won three of their five matches under interim manager Neil Thompson.

The Lilywhites put an end to three successive defeats, including a 4-1 loss to basement-side Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup, with a victory against Birmingham City before a goalless draw against Reading on Sunday.

Preston have won three games and drawn one of their last four fixtures against the Owls.

Team news

Liam Shaw has missed the last two games with a suspected shoulder injury. He, like Preston’s Ben Davies, has been linked to a move to Scottish giants Celtic.

Massimo Luongo returned to the squad for the trip to Coventry, however, he was an unused sub with Thompson choosing to not rush him back into the starting 11.

Joost van Aken and Chey Dunkley have also missed the last couple of fixtures with injury, and Moses Odubajo is out for several weeks with a hamstring injury.

Dominic Iorfa and Cameron Dawson remain long-term absentees.

Preston have no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hillsborough.

Greg Cunningham could be in line to make his first appearance since returning to the club on loan from Cardiff City.

Declan Rudd, Patrick Bauer and Louis Moult all remain long-term casualties.

Predicted lineups

Sheffield Wednesday (4-3-3):

Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Börner, Penney; Bannan, Luongo, Hutchinson; Green, Paterson, Reach.

Preston North End (4-2-3-1):

Iversen; Browne, Huntington, Davies, Rafferty; Ledson, Whiteman; Sinclair, Molumby, Potts; Riis.

Form guide

The Owls remain 23rd in the Championship and are six points away from safety, failing to close the gap in midweek as they succumbed to a 2-0 loss against Coventry.

The defeat was their second successive loss after they exited the FA Cup on Sunday night against Premier League side, Everton. However, before back-to-back defeats, Wednesday were unbeaten in five games, winning four of them.

Following three consecutive losses to Nottingham Forest, Wycombe in the cup, and Bristol City, Preston got back on track, beating Birmingham 1-0 before drawing 0-0 with Reading at Deepdale on Sunday.

Preston sit 10th in the division and six points off the play-off positions.

Ones to watch

Sheffield Wednesday – Andre Green

Andre Green has impressed in his two starts for the Owls since joining the club on a free transfer.

The winger has injected some much-needed pace and skill into the side but is yet to complete 90 minutes for the Owls as he continues to get back up to match speed after going six months without a club.

Green has played in a central role and on the left-wing in the games against Everton and Coventry, showing the versatility to Wednesday.

The 22-year-old also spent the first half of last season with the Lilywhites.

Preston North End – Ben Whiteman

Ben Whiteman has been arguably League One’s best player this season before earning a move to the Championship.

The former Sheffield United midfielder produced 12 goal contributions in 23 games for Doncaster Rovers this season from defensive midfield.

Whiteman makes an average of 1.6 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game, as well as making 1.9 key passes and taking 2.9 shots per 90.

With the tenacious Ben Pearson being rumoured to be leaving Deepdale for AFC Bournemouth, the 24-year-old could prove to be a very good replacement in Pearson's absence.

Last time they met

Preston were victorious the last time these two sides met.

Things start terribly for the Owls as Josh Windass was sent off 18 minutes into Pulis’ debut as Wednesday manager.

Preston took advantage of their extra man, bossing possession throughout and eventually getting their winner just after half-time through Tom Barkhuizen.

The Lilywhites were also victorious the last time they visited S6, coming from behind to win 3-1 after the restart to the campaign.

What the managers have said

Interim boss Thompson picked up these positives from Wednesday night’s defeat, something he hopes that Wednesday can implement into their remaining games in their bid for survival.

“I thought we more than competed in the first half. It was just little bits of details," he said, speaking post-match.

“When you are in a position where you are looking up the table, it can be difficult but we have got to put that to the side.

“We have got 22 games left and we have got to compete in them and win as many as we possibly can.”

Alex Neil believes it will be difficult to judge what the Owls will bring to the contest on Saturday.

“It has been difficult [to understand what they might do],” he said, speaking to the club’s website.

“Since Tony left, they haven’t yet filled that void, but they have been on a good run of form. They have picked up some good results. They have had some cup games in there where they have given some of the younger players some chances, but I would fully expect that at Coventry I would expect they will be back to whatever they deem to be their strongest team.

“The games I have watched, they have changed their shape regularly, they have changed their personnel regularly – because of the cup games.

“We have been in this scenario before where we have played against teams that have lost managers prior to playing us and what we tended to do is touch on their key players and things they like to do, but really focus on what we are going to do.

“Barry Bannan has been a key player since he has been there. He is captain at the moment and we know we are going to have to keep him quiet. But equally, they have some very good attacking options; [Adam] Reach is a really dangerous player, [Kadeem] Harris is a dangerous player, so, like any team, you have to keep their attacking quality quiet and then you need to try and impose yourself on the game; it is not going to be any different from any other match.”

Where to watch

The match is available on ‘iFollow’ through Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End’s respective club websites, with match passes at £10 for those in the United Kingdom.

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