Foot Predictions shows Friday’s championship clash between Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, including predictions, preview and possible lineups.
Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End meet on Friday night in search of victory that will strengthen their candidacy for the championship playoffs.
While Preston, 12th, is nine points behind the top six, Blackburn is just six points behind Bournemouth with one game less.
There was a time at the beginning of the season when Blackburn was the most entertaining team in the league, conceding almost as many goals at one end as they scored at the other.
Yet, Tony Mowbray apparently he struggled to narrow his line of defense, which has scored just four goals in his last six league games.
Fewer blows are being scored for their previously relentless attack, but a 10-point return on their most recent game batch was enough to put them back in the running for the promotion.
Although the 1-0 loss at Queens Park Rangers was a disappointment, Rovers will put pressure on Bournemouth if they manage to score three more points at Ewood Park.
Notably, Blackburn scored just one goal in the first half since December 9, a streak that needs to end sooner or later.
Scoring in the first 45 minutes is also not a common practice for Preston, whose only goal in the first half in 2021 came from a penalty.
With only one win posted in seven games in all competitions, Alex Neil is aware that something must change in the short term if Preston wants to stay on the hunt for the top six.
Preston scored just eight goals in 13 games, although four of their five wins during that period came with the advantage of conceding goals.
Blackburn won in the reverse match on November 24, with a 3-0 win after Joe Raffertydismissal at 44 minutes.
Blackburn Rovers Championship form: LWDWWL
Blackburn Rovers form (all competitions): WLDWWL
Preston North End Championship form: LLWDLL
Preston North End Form (all competitions): LLWDLL
All news from the teams
Neil could present the best scorer Scott Sinclair back to the Preston starting lineup, probably as a replacement for Anthony Gordon.
The rest of the side could remain the same, leaving Liverpool on loan Sepp van den Berg waiting for his first start in the championship.
Mowbray is expected to make changes to his Blackburn XI, which may include Bradley Dack its first departure since mid-January.
Ben Brereton could replace Sam Gallagher in attack, but Manchester City on loan Taylor Harwood-Bellis can remain on the substitute bench.
Possible initial lineup of Blackburn Rovers:
Kaminski; Nyambe, Lenihan, Branthwaite, Bell; Rothwell, Travis, Dack; Brereton, Elliott, Armstrong
Possible initial lineup of Preston North End:
Iversen; Rafferty, Huntington, Lindsay, Hughes; Whiteman, Ledson; Barkhuizen, Molumby, Sinclair; Evans
Probability: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Preston North End
Both teams have been inconsistent throughout the campaign, making it difficult to predict a result with great confidence. Although Blackburn comes to this game in better shape, we would not be surprised if the visitors claimed a part of the spoils, forcing a result that does not please any of the clubs.