The Championship battle continues at Deepdale as Preston North End host Leeds United.
Both teams returned to action with 1 – 0 results at the weekend. Preston fell to the previously rudderless Reading while Leeds celebrated their centenary with a win over Birmingham City.
It left the Lilywhites clinging to the playoff places and the Peacocks within touching distance of the top of the table.
What better setting for a promotion battle royale?
And those results only make our Preston vs Leeds United predictions tougher!
Reading delivered a Royals kick up the backside to Preston, giving them more incentive for a good performance against Leeds, who are proving doughty in the promotion race.
Will both side live up to our Complete 2019/20 Championship Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips or are they punching above their weight?
Preston vs Leeds United Predictions
The weekend didn’t quite go to plan for Alex Neill’s team as they fell to Reading. Even with it being Mark Bowen’s first game in charge for the Royals, defeat was still a surprise for North End.
It was the Lilywhites first defeat in eight (W5, D3) and their first blank in front of goal since the opening day loss at Millwall.
That run has seen Neill guide his squad to sixth with the best goal difference in the division (+10). Preston are the top scorers in the Championship with 23 goals with Daniel Johnson leading the way on 7 goals.
The goalscoring depth runs deep at Deepdale with ten other players on the scoresheet in the league this season.
It sets up an intriguing clash with the Championship’s most miserly defence. Leeds United conceded just seven goals, keeping six clean sheets in their dozen league matches thus far. Half those came away from home, all in a three-match spell as August turned to September.
However, since the 2 – 0 win at Barnsley, Leeds haven’t managed to keep out any opponents on their travels.
Goals are hard to come by in their games. Only the 2 – 1 defeat at Millwall featured over 2.5 goals with Leeds not scoring more than one goal in five of the last six games (W3, D1).
There is a clash of cultures; Neill likes his expansive football, while Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa still bears the scars from last season’s failed promotion bid. Preston have 11 of their 23 goals in the first half, with four in the first 15 minutes of games.
Leeds, by contrast, are yet to score in that timescale of any league match. However, 11 of their 16 goals came in the second half, setting up a mouthwatering prospect at Deepdale with the home side hitting 12.
Preston vs Leeds United Head to Head
In the previous 59 matches, Preston won 25 to Leeds United 22. Twelve finished drawn, four of which were goalless. It’s been 82 years since neither side scored at Deepdale, however.
A double last season continued Leeds dominance of recent years. Six wins in the last ten (D2, L2) put the Lilywhites firmly in control, historically, of this fixture.
United are strong at Deepdale, losing just once in the past five (W3, D1).
Preston Team News
Tom Clarke remains absent but Alex Neill is likely to ring the changes after a slack performance in Berkshire at the weekend.
Alan Browne, Josh Harrop and Jaydon Stockley were all subs at Reading and pushing for a place in the starting line-up.
Leeds United Team News
After much clamour, Eddie Nketiah was given a forty-five-minute runout in the 1 – 0 win over Birmingham. That and Patrick Bamford’s poor performance are likely to see the Arsenal loanee make his full Championship debut at Deepdale.
Tyler Roberts is Bielsa’s other striking option if he is ready to make a change.
Elsewhere, Liam Cooper is sidelined until late November while Jamie Shackleton and Pablo Hernandez are out for around four weeks. Adam Forshaw is also absent.
Gjanni Alioski is one booking away from a one-match ban but Jordan Stevens is no longer suspended.
Preston vs Leeds United Betting Tips
Preston may be at home but it is Leeds United who are 23/20 favourites in Novibet’s match odds.
North End are 49/20 with the draw fetching the same odds.
Given the stats with 23 of their combined 39 goals coming in the second half, it is worth considering the Half with Most Goals market which shows the Second Half at 26/25.