Millwall vs Preston North End, Championship Preview

2 min

After a first league win since New Year’s Day against Derby County on Wednesday night, Millwall will be hoping to pull further away from the drop zone as Preston North End visit The Den this weekend (Saturday, kick-off 3pm).

The Pride Park victory not only gave the Lions a five point gap to third-bottom Rotherham United but also saw their fourth clean sheet in the last five outings.

Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper were excellent in the 1-0 away win and look unlikely to drop out – despite boss Neil Harris having Alex Pearce back in contention after being ineligible against his parent club in mid-week.

And with James Meredith and Conor McLaughlin both still injured, Murray Wallace is set to continue to deputise at left-back after impressive performances in the unfamiliar role.

Meanwhile Shane Ferguson started on the right at Pride Park and could do so again after providing the inch-perfect through ball for Jed Wallace to fire underneath the Derby keeper for the victory.

Tom Elliott also stepped up his recovery from injury against the Rams after making an appearance from the bench but it may still be too soon for a starting place for the forward.

Two others who could also have to bide their time are Ben Thompson and Ryan Tunnicliffe – it’s difficult to see Harris break-up the midfield partnership of Shaun Williams and Ryan Leonard with it developing so well over the last few games.

Preston were 3-2 winners in the reverse fixture in December with the side going into the encounter having not lost in the Championship since an away defeat at Rotherham on January 1st.

Consistency has been key to their success with boss Alex Neil making just one change to his North End side in the past six matches, slowly moving up the table in the process.

They are now just nine points behind sixth-placed Bristol City with a late run for the Play-Offs a distinct possibility, provided the squad stays fit.

Heading into this encounter PNE have no new injury concerns, but are without a number of long term absentees including pacey winger Callum Robinson.

Alan Browne scored the opener as Preston ran out winners in the corresponding fixture and, with 11 goals for the season so far, is likely to be the danger man again.

But if Millwall can stop him, the Lions should just shade it.

Prediction: 2-1 Millwall

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