Our prediction for this Championship match:
Following a 1-1 draw with Stoke City, Middlesbrough will look to return to winning ways in the Championship when they take on Preston on Matchday 38. The Boro aim to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive, and we are positive that they will stick to their attacking style of play. Matt Clarke and Darnell Fisher remain in the recovery room, but they should be the only absentees in the home team.
Meanwhile, the Lilywhites aim to build on back-to-back wins over Cardiff City and Rotherham United. Preston want to move closer to the playoffs berth, but they will have a big fish to fry against Middlesbrough, who are a real force to be reckoned with at home. Barring any fresh injury worries, Ryan Lowe is unlikely to make changes to the team that defeated Rotherham United in midweek, but Emil Riis Jakobsen continues to miss out with an ACL problem.
Highlighted Player (Paddy McNair):
Following in the footsteps of his compatriot Jonny Evans, Paddy McNair joined the Manchester United academy in 2011 and he was surprisingly handed first team debut by Louis van Gaal at the start of the 2014/2015 season.
Despite his fragile age, the talented central defender has been putting in some very mature performances ever since, and everything suggests he could go on to become an important player at Old Trafford in years to come. After representing a number of youth sides, McNair made his first appearance for the Northern Ireland senior national team in a March 2015 friendly vs Scotland, before making another three outings as his side secured their place at the Euro 2016 finals.
Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill surprisingly played McNair in holding midfield in the March 2016 friendly vs Wales. After the youngster impressed in the middle of the park, O’Neill went on to suggest that the Manchester United starlet may be used in midfield rather than defence in years to come in the national team.
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.