The thrilling second tier of English football is back this weekend and Deepdale will host an intriguing mid-table clash between Preston North End and Bristol City (Saturday 15:00).
Both clubs harbour outside ambitions of gatecrashing the top six this term, and both will know the importance of picking up points against potential play-off rivals. Below we have previewed the clash and given a couple of betting selections to consider.
Fin Cross-Adair, the Preston teenager who suffered a car crash back in October, "is back on the mend” according to Ryan Lowe having been given the all clear on his knee. It will be a while until he is back in the matchday squad, but his road to recovery has taken a positive turn.
Meanwhile for Bristol City, Kal Naismith, Ayman Benarous (both hamstring), Haydon Roberts (ankle), Rob Atkinson (recovery from ACL) and Ross McCrorie (surgery after bacterial infection) remain out.
Preston are 6/4 to win this match, with the away side Bristol City available to back at 7/4. A draw is 2/1, BTTS is 10/11 and over 2.5 goals is 5/4.
Under 2.5 goals @ 4/7
Unfortunately for those travelling to Deepdale, this game doesn’t scream goals. Bristol City drew 1-1 with West Ham in the FA Cup but in the two league games prior to that, they failed to score, against Millwall and Birmingham respectively. It’s a point of concern for Liam Manning, and the Robins have only managed 30 goals in 26 Championship matches so far.
Meanwhile, Preston haven’t scored in their last three outings and fans are beginning to throw criticism towards Lowe for playing defensive football. With goals not the order of the day for either of these two sides across the past few weeks, we are in for another close encounter at Deepdale. The 4/7 for under 2.5 goals makes sense in my eyes.
Preston 0-1 Bristol City @ 6/1
If the price of 4/7 is a little short for your liking, how about considering nailing a correct score at 6/1? I believe this is going to be a one goal game, in either direction, but I also believe that Bristol City are superior to Preston at this moment in time. They will have half an eye on their FA Cup replay with West Ham, which should be a special night at Ashton Gate, but the players will also want to make sure they are in the starting XI for that game.
The mood around the club is a positive one, and they are now 11th, just four points off the play-offs. The vibes coming out of North End are completely different, with many fans now calling for the manager to go. Having enjoyed a blistering start, things have fallen away in recent months, and they’ve lost five out of their last six in all competitions. Their only win in that time came against ten-man Leeds United, and they’ve now slumped into the bottom half of the table.
Another defeat looks to be on the cards here, and I fancy Bristol City to edge this one and take all three points.
Check out our other Football Betting Tips here.
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