Two of the Championship’s top seven will go head to head at Villa Park on Tuesday night, as Preston North End face Aston Villa.
Aston Villa currently sit third in the Championship table after 32 games. The Villains are just two points behind second place Cardiff and could move into an automatic promotion spot ahead of Cardiff’s trip to Ipswich on Wednesday.
Preston are just three points behind the final play off spot in seventh. They could move into sixth place for 24 hours at least, with Bristol City hosting Fulham the following day.
Villa’s run of seven consecutive victories was ended on Saturday, as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Fulham. Steve Bruce’s side has not lost at home since November 4th, in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
Preston have tasted defeat just once in their last 16 league games. Alex Neil’s sides last defeat on the road also came on the 4th November, in a 3-0 defeat to Ipswich Town. North End will be looking to convert some of their draws into wins, having drawn four of their last six in the league.
Ahmed Elmohamady, Albert Adomah and Jack Grealish are all doubtful for tomorrow’s game. Elmohamady was withdrawn at half time in their defeat to Fulham, whilst Adomah (hamstring) and Grealish (calf) both missed Saturday’s game. Andre Green, Jed Steer and Jonathan Kodjia are all still sidelined for the Villains.
Greg Cunningham and Ben Pearson will both return to the Preston squad following their respective bans. Midfielder Alan Browne will serve a one game ban following the red card he picked up in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.
HEAD TO HEAD
This will be the sides 114th meeting ever since their first back in 1888. Villa boast the better record of the two sides, having won on 57 occasions. In the early season encounter, Villa ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Deepdale with goals from James Chester and Robert Snodgrass. (11v11)
I can’t split the two sides tomorrow. Villa are missing a number of key players and Preston are very difficult to beat.
Aston Villa 1-1 Preston