In one of Saturday’s more intriguing EFL Championship matches, Preston North End take on Swansea City at Deepdale.
England’s second tier usually starts at least a week before its top flight, but the delayed start to things has meant that the 2020-21 campaign in England begins at the same time.
Both of these teams sat in the upper echelon of the Championship in 2019-20. Preston finished ninth, just four points away from the playoffs, while Swansea reached the playoffs after finishing sixth, only to lose to Brentford in the semi-finals. Both sides will be looking to push for promotion this season.
Preston North End vs Swansea City Head-to-Head
Historically, games between Preston and Swansea have been remarkably even. The Lilywhites have 20 wins over the Swans, with the Welsh side holding 25 victories in return. There have been 18 draws between the two, including their most recent game – a 1-1 draw in February.
The 2020-21 campaign has begun very differently for these teams, as they’ve both played in the EFL Cup. Preston picked up a comfortable win over Mansfield Town, while Swansea were beaten by fellow Welsh side Newport County.
However, the end of 2019-20 saw Swansea in stronger form. They signed off the season with two wins, while Preston picked up just one victory in their last four games.
Preston North End form guide: D-L-W-D-W
Swansea City form guide: L-D-W-W-L
Preston North End vs Swansea City Team News
Preston boss Alex Neil should count himself lucky as, according to all reports, he has no injury concerns to worry about going into this game.
Swansea equally have no concerns when it comes to injuries. George Byers is the only doubt for the Swans due to a groin injury.
Former England under-17 manager Steve Cooper has brought in a number of current England youth players, and some could find themselves involved here.
Injured: George Byers
Preston North End vs Swansea City Predicted XI
Swansea City predicted XI (3-5-2): Freddie Woodman, Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi, Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts, Korey Smith, Matt Grimes, Jake Bidwell, Morgan Gibbs-White, Andre Ayew, Jamal Lowe
Preston North End vs Swansea City Prediction
This should be a tight one to call. Both sides have plenty of attacking talent and will feel confident going forward, so the result could come down to who can keep the tighter defence.
Swansea have perhaps the more exciting talent in the form of Gibbs-White and Ayew, but their defence may find Preston’s more direct style tricky to deal with. Overall, a low-scoring draw seems the most likely result.
Prediction: Preston North End 1-1 Swansea CityPublished 10 Sep 2020, 22:32 IST