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Jan 18, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Deepdale
2 - 2
Sheff Utd
Browne (71'), Riis Jakobsen (89')
Cunningham (82')
Hughes (38')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Bogle (17'), Sharp (39' pen.)
Hourihane (60'), Bogle (80')

Preview: Preston North End vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Preston North End vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Preston North End and Sheffield United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Preston North End and Sheffield United square off at Deepdale on Tuesday evening with the clubs level on points in the Championship standings.

While the visitors boast a game in hand and marginally superior goal difference, Preston head into this contest in the marginally better form.

Match preview

Heading into the new year, everything was going swimmingly for Sheffield United under Paul Heckingbottom with three successive wins being recorded in the Championship.

However, the Blades have performed below par during defeats at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Derby County, leaving them out of the FA Cup and in 14th position in the second tier.

With several matches in hand, the situation is retrievable with several players also due to make returns over the coming weeks, but Heckingbottom needs his side to rediscover their previous level sooner rather than later.

They now sit 10 points adrift of in-form Middlesbrough, who sit in sixth position, with 267 minutes having passed since their last goal at leaders Fulham on December 20.

Sheffield United have negative memories of their last meeting with Preston, the visitors twice coming from behind to eventually seal a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane.

That game was under different management, but Preston are very much on an upward trajectory under Ryan Lowe who has collected seven points from a possible nine in the Championship.

While the FA Cup exit at Cardiff City came as a considerable disappointment, Lowe will not mind focusing his attention on the league now that they are 13 points clear of the relegation zone.

Like with Sheffield United, a playoff spot currently appears unlikely, but North End may find themselves in the top half of the table with another couple of wins in quick succession.

Preston were denied a third Championship win in succession at the weekend as Birmingham City equalised four minutes from time to earn a 1-1 draw.

Preston North End Championship form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Preston North End form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Sheffield United Championship form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Sheffield United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Having suggested that he was pleased with Preston's performance against Blues, Lowe may be willing to select the same team for this contest.

However, the quick turnaround could also tempt him into introducing fresh legs, with Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire and Alistair McCann all options for Lowe.

While the injured Morgan Gibbs-White is expected to remain absent for Sheffield United, changes are inevitable after their display at Pride Park.

Conor Hourihane should return in midfield, while Rhian Brewster may be preferred to Billy Sharp who was ineffective versus the Rams.

Ben Osborn could also feature down the left flank, taking the spot of Rhys Norrington-Davies.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Van den Berg, Bauer, Hughes; Potts, Browne, Whiteman, Cunningham; Johnson; Evans, Riis Jakobsen

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Basham, Egan, Robinson; Bogle, Hourihane, Norwood, Osborn; McGoldrick, Ndiaye; Brewster

We say: Preston North End 1-1 Sheffield United

Given the margin to the top six, both teams are aware that a share of the spoils from this contest will do neither of them much good. Nevertheless, it is difficult to split these two clubs, and we feel that a low-scoring draw is the most likely outcome.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:curl

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3Huddersfield TownHuddersfield4623131064471782
4Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest4623111273403380
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd4621121363451875
6Luton TownLuton462112136355875
8Blackburn RoversBlackburn461912155950969
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11Queens Park RangersQPR46199186059166
12Coventry CityCoventry461713166059164
13Preston North EndPreston461616145256-464
14Stoke CityStoke461711185752562
15Swansea CitySwansea461613175868-1061
17Bristol City461510216277-1555
18Cardiff CityCardiff46158235068-1853
19Hull City46149234154-1351
20Birmingham CityBirmingham461114215075-2547
RPeterborough UnitedPeterborough46910274387-4437
RDerby CountyDerby461413194553-834
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