Our prediction for this Championship match:
Birmingham City will be aiming to build on a hard-fought 1-0 win over Middlesbrough when they host Preston at their St. Andrew’s Stadium on Matchday 25. The Blues are seven points clear of bottom three, and, no doubt, they are eager to escape the danger zone. The Lilywhites, on the other hand, head into the match following back-to-back losses to Nottingham Forest and Bristol City.
Preston have been struggling in front of goal of late, and seeing that Birmingham City regained a much-needed confidence at the weekend, we are tempted to put our money on the hosts this time out. Boyd-Munce, Jeacock, and McEachran are all sidelined with injuries, while Gardner is a major doubt. The likes of Bauer, Bodin, Moult, and Rudd are injured for the visitors, whereas Pearson will be assessed ahead of the kick-off.
Highlighted Player (Maikel Kieftenbeld):
Maikel Kieftenbeld is a defensive midfielder who plays for Birmingham City. The Dutch footballer was born on 26 June, 1990 and he made his senior debut for Go Ahead Eagles on 8 August 2008. Kieftenbeld played 63 matches for Go Ahead Eagles and scored three goals for the Dutch team.
After ending his spell with the Adelaarshorts outfit, he joined Groningen on 17 June, 2010 on a four-year deal. The Eredivisie club paid a €300,000 fee for the midfielder and it has to be noted that he spent five years at Euroborg stadium. Maikel Kieftenbeld then signed a three-year contract with Birmingham City for an undisclosed fee. The Dutch footballer scored three goals in 42 appearances for the Blues in the 2015/2016 Championship campaign.
Kieftenbeld was born in Dalfsen where he attended Heilig Hartschool. His mother Anja played volleyball, while his father Joop worked as a football coach. The Birmingham City midfielder is well known for his ability to pass the ball quickly to his teammates, but for his hard tackles as well.
Highlighted Team (Preston):
Preston North End or Preston were founded in 1880. The Lilywhites or the Invincibles play their home games at Deepdale, the stadium that was built in 1875 and opened three years later.
In 1889 Preston won their first FA Cup trophy and they did well to beat Huddersfield Town in the final of the 1938 FA Cup final. However, the club’s biggest success came in 1889 and 1890 when they won back-to-back domestic trophies (First Division).
Preston have yet to win the League Cup title, but they were runners-up in 1888, 1922, 1937, 1954, 1964. Preston’s main rivals are Blackpool and the two teams square off against each other in the West Lancashire derby. In their first ever meeting in the West Lancashire derby (1901) Preston recorded a 4-1 win over Blackpool.
Burnley and Blackburn Rovers are considered Preston’s big rivals as well. The colour of Preston’s shirts is white and they wear dark blue shorts.