Our prediction for this Championship match:
Buoyed by the FA Cup triumph over Forest Green, Birmingham City will look to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Preston on Matchday 28. The Blues are on a four-match losing run in the Championship, but Saturday’s clash could be the turning point for the home side. Experienced striker Lukas Jutkiewicz should keep his place in the starting XI after finding the net in the midweek victory, while all Harlee Dean, Przemyslaw Placheta, George Hall, and Gary Gardner remain on the sidelines with injuries.
The Lilywhites, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 4-0 loss to Norwich City, which is probably the main reason why home win should be considered. Both Delap and Fernandez should sneak into the starting XI as Ryan Lowe was not satisfied with Woodburn and McCann’s displays in the defeat to the Canaries.
Highlighted Player (George Friend):
George Friend has played for no less than nine English clubs so far in his career. Friend made his first-team debut for non-League club Exeter City on April 17, 2006 in a goalless draw with Forest Green Rovers and he stayed at St James Park until 2008. After ending his loan spells with Tiverton Town and Team Bath he joined Wolverhampton, but he made no more than seven appearances for the Wolves in the league.
The 188-cm-tall left-back, who is capable of playing as a centre-back as well, played for the likes of Millwall, Southend, Scunthorpe United and Exeter City on loan during his spell with Wolverhampton and at the end of the 2009/2010 season he signed a two-year deal with Doncaster Rovers. Friend made his Doncaster debut on August 7, 2010 in a 2-0 win over Preston and after three years at the club he was sold to Middlesbrough for a fee of £100,000.
The left-footed defender has been playing for Boro ever since and you should know that he made 24 appearances for the club in the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign.
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.