STAR PREVIEW: Preston North End v WBA

The Championship is a tight and unpredictable league at the best of times, but it would be a major surprise if West Brom weren’t heavily involved at the end of the season and they look to be coming to Preston at the right time tonight.

Preston (5/1 to be promoted with Star Sports) are currently sixth in the table, just four points behind third placed Fulham, but that is being threatened by a defensive crisis that could derail their season.

Preston went to Hull last week without defenders Ben Davies and Darnell Fisher, Andrew Hughes, Tom Clarke and makeshift right-back Alan Browne, and the patchwork defence that involved a midfielder (Ryan Ledson) at right-back and a right-back (Joe Rafferty) at left-back was torn apart after they conceded against the run of play as they lost 4-0.

From then on it was a rout for the home side, who could have easily won by more than 4-0 had it not been for Declan Rudd’s saves and whilst they only lost 1-0 to Derby the previous week, they were flattered by the scoreline.

Preston North End v West Brom
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
APR 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 4-1 Preston
SEP 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Preston 2-3 West Brom
MAR 2010 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 3-2 Preston
OCT 2009 CHAMPIONSHIP Preston 0-0 West Brom

This is not a brilliant time to have West Brom (9/4 to win the title, and 4/9 to be promoted) visiting, especially given the run of form that they’re on. Their 4-1 success over Bristol City was their biggest of the season so far and gives them a seven-point gap ahead of those in the playoff places.

Slaven Billic’s side don’t appear to be missing Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez with their new front four firing on all cylinders – Matt Phillips has six goals this season and Robson-Kanu hit his fifth goal in seven league games when scoring against Bristol. They are supplemented by Matheus Pereira (has the most assists in the division with eight) whilst Grady Diangana has five assists and four goals too.

Preston have a fine home record – seven wins and two draws – but West Brom have the best away record in the division and are unbeaten in their last eight.

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