Sheffield Wednesday sit atop the Championship table in the early stages of the season with the aim of extending their reign this Saturday when they travel to South Wales to face Preston North End.
The Owls secured top spot with a win over Luton Town in the midweek clash, and our Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday predictions are backing them to pick up consecutive wins.
But they come up against a Preston side who have struggled to remain consistent. Bouts of good form, such as the Lillywhites 3-3 draw against their matchday five opponents, have been marred by defeats to the likes of Millwall and Swansea.
The real question is: which Preston will turn up at Deepdale Stadium, and where exactly will they finish this season? Well, fortunately, you can read all about our projections in our 2019/20 Championship season preview.
But first things first…
Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday Predictions
Preston claimed an impressive 3-1 victory against Stoke City, with goals from Daniel Johnson, Billy Bodin, and Josh Harrop.
The victory was certainly a product of Alex Neil’s tactical shake-up which involved utilizing the pace of Tom Barkhuizen on the counter as the main striker, while Johnson pulled the strings in an advanced midfield role.
Indeed, the combination of Johnson’s technical prowess and the pace up front posed to be too much for a suspect Potter’s back four – this weekend’s opponents won’t be so lacklustre, especially if we’re going by recent performances.
From attack to defence, the Lillywhites have operated as a unit, transitioning seamlessly and winning smartly.
Against Luton Town, they were presented with the challenge of breaking down a team hellbent on keeping them from breaking the deadlock.
But the link-up play between Kadeem Harris and Ashley Fletcher proved to be potent for Graeme Jones’ men and Wednesday comfortably secured the three points.
If the two are firing on all cylinders once again, our Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday predictions forecasts another goalscoring display to unfold.
In response, Preston may well follow a similar game-plan in keeping the likes of Harris and Fletcher quiet.
But going by their own defensive lapses, this won’t be as easy as it was against Stoke. The combination of the dynamic duo’s pace and skill will make them difficult to mark, and as evident in Preston’s earlier defeats, counterattacking sides are primed to cause them trouble in the back four.
Should they concede first and venture out of their defence to strike back, they’ll be even more vulnerable to a Wednesday wave of runners. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
The only potential escape route for Harris’ men is to hope to outscore their opponents and emulate last weekend’s performance.
In line with our Championship betting markets, there is a potential for over 2.5 goals that could aid Preston’s chances.
But even if they do frustrate the Lilywhites, it may not be enough to keep Wednesday from claiming another three points.
Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday Head To Head
Preston have only won once in the last five fixtures, and that was two years ago by narrow margins.
Perhaps a more telling result is Wednesday’s dominance in the last few years, beginning in 2018 with a 4-1 larruping of Preston.
They followed that up with a tidy 1-0 victory, but this year’s fixture that saw them draw 3-3 with the Lilywhites perhaps suggests lapses in concentration by the league leaders are not uncommon.
While our Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday predictions don’t expect a repeat of that chaotic clash, there’s enough evidence to suggest that it won’t be easy pickings for Bullen’s men.
Preston Team News
Unfortunately, the news coming out of the Preston camp does not bode well for their chances this weekend.
The Lilywhites will be without a whole host of first-team players. Spearheading the list is Louis Moult who ruptured his cruciate knee ligament against Swansea last week, and will be out for the upcoming months.
Next in line is Sean Maguire who is so far playing concussion victim, and will be assessed ahead of the coach trip to South Wales. The same applies to Andrew Hughes, who could be replaced.
Without David Nugent in the squad who is still recovering from a calf injury, the likes of Sam Vokes, Joe Allen, and Butland will have to pull through as best as they can for their team – a predicament our Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday predictions don’t see ending in success.
Sheffield Wednesday Team News
Bullen has experimented with his matchday squads before, and this Saturday’s game will be no exception.
The return of Barry Bannan in Wednesday’s midweek win over Luton Town means he will probably once again be swapped into the starting XI in place of Kieran Lee.
Likewise, the midfield could also be tinkered with due to the absence of Liam Palmer – a potential replacement could be Morgan Fox.
On the attacking front, both Fernando Forestieri and Sam Winnall made the bench on Wednesday and will most likely get to start from the onset.
Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday Betting Tips
Wednesday wager as 41/20 odd-on favourites in our Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday predictions and betting tips.
In comparison to the league leaders, the Lilywhites are registering as 7/5 underdogs, with the odds about a draw in our Preston vs Sheffield Wednesday match bets weighing in at 11/5.
Between the betting markets and Wednesday’s current form, it looks as if the bookies will be right about forecasting a win for Bullen’s men.