A third set of matches in the space of a week in the Sky Bet Championship begins on Friday night when two teams at the opposite ends of the table meet when Preston North End host Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale.
Preston had a wonderful start to the season but have flattened out a little bit since then while QPR haven’t been able to get anything going at all this term but have shown signs of life in recent times which makes this an interesting contest.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels with the build-up beginning at 7.30pm ahead of an 8pm kick off.
Preston North End
At the start of the season it looked like Preston North End were going to be right in the automatic promotion shake up when they won six of their opening seven matches but even during that run there was a sense that the numbers, which were the opposite to the results, would level out at some point and there would be a period of reverting to the mean. That has happened in the last 10 matches where they have lost six and won just two, so they will be hoping for three points here.
Within those six defeats, Preston have taken a few heavy beatings, including the one in midweek away to Middlesbrough so they will be keen to make up for that here in front of their own fans. This would be a game you would imagine they will think that they can win and it will be interesting to see if they are a little more offense minded as a result of that. For all Preston have levelled out in recent times, only two sides have left Deepdale with all three points this term.
The season hasn’t really ever got going for QPR. They struggled under Gareth Ainsworth and you felt it was only ever a matter of time until he was relieved of his duties and that happened around a month ago. As you would expect, they have picked up under a new manager, especially given that they have gone back down the route of looking to play a more modern game and go into this one off the back of a good win over Stoke in midweek.
They were helped out by the Potters having a man sent off in that game but for a side who haven’t scored many goals for a while to score four in one match has to be considered a positive. QPR have only lost one of their four matches under Marti Cifuentes but they have slipped six points adrift of the drop now so they really need to find a run of consistent results to latch onto the teams above them heading into the second half of the season.
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Ryan Lowe revealed some injury boosts going into the match with Ali McCann and Greg Cunningham available to him after recovering from injuries. Preston could also have Canada international Liam Millar involved too.
Marti Cifuentes has also revealed a boost for his QPR side going into the Deepdale battle as he is expecting to have Andre Dozzell back after he missed the midweek win. Sinclair Armstrong also missed that victory and he is a doubt for this one.
I would imagine this will be a keenly fought contest, largely because you would think it is a match that both will feel they can win. Preston should really think they can beat most teams at this level at home while QPR will look at the current Preston form and think that this is an opportunity for them to cut the gap between them and the teams above them in half. That should make for a really good game of football between two teams who do have some quality in their ranks.
The bet I like in this one as a result of that is for both teams to score. QPR are definitely improving under Cifuentes and that is no surprise with the likes of Chris Willock back in the plans, but they haven’t really tightened up defensively, although a team who are more possession based probably are going to take time to do that. Preston aren’t overly tight at the back either but they do have goals in them so I’m a little surprised that we can get even money on both sides finding the back of the net here.
Back Both teams to score for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Bet365