By Daniel Wood
Huddersfield Town will host Preston North End in the SkyBet Championship at the John Smiths Stadium, Saturday 24th October; 3pm KO.
The Terriers will be looking to continue their good run of form, after going unbeaten in their last four games. They have gathered a total of 10 points out of a possible 12 during that time.
Last time out saw them defeat Derby County 1-0 at home thanks to a Juninho Bacuna goal.
The win saw Town jump up to 9th in the league table and only one point behind the play-off places.
It has been a surprise turn around from the Terriers who lost their opening two fixtures to Norwich City and Brentford respectively, as they are now level on points with both of those sides.
Preston North End
The Lilywhites currently sit 15th in the Championship table, winning two games, losing three and drawing one. However, they are only three points behind Town.
Last time out, Preston beat QPR 2-0 away from home thanks to two goals from the spot by Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair, respectively.
In the 2019/20 campaign, the Lilywhites finished 9th in the Championship table, four points off the top six. They were in the top six for quite a chunk of the season.
Their manager, Alex Neil, has been at the helm of the club since July 2017 making this his fourth season in charge.
He has a 38.6% win-rate with Preston, winning 61 games, losing 53 and drawing 44.
His other managerial roles came with Hamilton Academical from April 2013 to January 2015 (54.5% win-rate), and most notably with Norwich City from January 2015 to March 2017 (41.7% win-rate).
Most of his playing career came in Scotland with Hamilton Academical, but he also had stints at Mansfield and Barnsley where he made a combined 162 appearances in English football.
Ones to Watch
Johnson is currently in his sixth season as a Preston North End player. He has featured heavily for the club in an attacking midfield role and was the club’s top goal scorer last season with 12 of his goals coming in the Championship. He returned to Championship action last time out against QPR and netted from the spot. It was his first league appearance of the season.
The 31-year old joined Preston in the 2020 January transfer window from Celtic. In the Championship, he featured 18 times for the Lilywhites and scored three times in the process. He has already passed last seasons goal tally, having only played six games in the league. The winger has scored four goals in Preston’s opening six games and is currently their top goalscorer this season. Sinclair was a regular for Celtic before the 2019/20 season where he won three SPL titles. He has also played for Premier League sides Aston Villa, Manchester City and Swansea City.
The German defender had his debut season for Preston during last seasons campaign. He played 41 games in the Championship last season, where he was considered a colossus in the backline. He pitched in with three goals from centre-back and was at the heart of almost every clean sheet for the Lilywhites. He has played in five of Preston’s six games this season, as he is set for another season as a regular of their defence.
Team News – Huddersfield Town
Ryan Schofield (thumb), Tommy Elphick (knee), Terence Kongolo (foot), Lewis O’Brien (quad), Danny Ward (hamstring), Christopher Schindler (hamstring), Alex Pritchard (quad) and Rarmani Edmonds-Green (hip) are all in doubt for the game against Preston North End.
Huddersfield Town slightly lead the head to head record against Preston North End. Since their first meeting in 1912, Town have won on 36 occasions; Preston have won on 34 occasions and there have been 23 draws.
The Terriers have not beat Preston since April 2017, as they failed to win either fixture against the Lilywhites last season. They lost 3-1 and drew 0-0.
The momentum seems to be in Town’s favour having not lost in their last four games, winning three of them and drawing the other. Preston may have scored more goals and have a better goal difference than Huddersfield, but Town are three points above them in the table.
I feel as though it will be close encounter between the two sides, with both finding it difficult to find a way through to goal. With that said, I do think both teams will score in the game.
The safe option in the prediction is to go with a draw, and that is exactly what I am going to do since it seems to be the most likely outcome.
Therefore, I predict: