Preston North End vs Middlesbrough Match Analysis & Prediction

Preston North End

14/02/2024 10:45 pm

Middlesbrough

Preston North End will welcome Middlesbrough at Deepdale on Wednesday night looking for the win that could lift them back into Championship playoff contention.

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While the hosts are currently occupying 10th position in the standings, Middlesbrough have recently dropped down to 12th, four points adrift of their upcoming opponents.

Although Middlesbrough have been inconsistent throughout this season, the prospect of three successive matches at the Riverside Stadium set up the opportunity to move back into the promotion mix.

Instead, a failure to win any of those games against Rotherham United, Sunderland and Bristol City has led to doubts whether Michael Carrick should remain in charge.

Reaching the EFL Cup semi-finals through a favourable route aside, Middlesbrough have been poor this season and draws with Rotherham and Sunderland were followed by a 2-1 defeat to Bristol City on Saturday.

Carrick’s side were 2-0 behind after 17 minutes and scored their goal in stoppage time, and there is a negative mood at Boro after just four wins in 12 league matches.

Now trailing the playoff spots by six points, Middlesbrough are considerable outsiders to reach the top six and only two wins will do in the short and long term if they are to get back into contention.

That is the response that Ryan Lowe has gotten from his Preston side, who have recorded back-to-back victories over Ipswich Town and Cardiff City respectively.

Preston had previously won just three of 13 matches in the Championship to drop towards the mid-table spots, but there is now renewed belief at Deepdale.

Successive victories had not been recorded since November 10 and they now sit just four points behind fifth-placed West Browich Albion ahead of two home games on the bounce.

Given the downturn in performances earlier in the season, Lowe will not be getting carried away with the recent improvements, yet he will back his side to come through this match with their only defeat in five being a last-gasp 2-1 loss to Leeds United.

Preston North End vs. Middlesbrough Head to head

In the 73 previous meetings between these two teams, Preston have claimed 24 victories while Middlesbrough have won 32, and they have drawn in 17. Middlesbrough have scored 111 goals and conceded 102 in the process.

  • 23/11/2021
    Middlesbrough
    1
    Preston North End
    2
    Championship
  • 07/05/2022
    Preston North End
    4
    Middlesbrough
    1
    Championship
  • 29/10/2022
    Preston North End
    2
    Middlesbrough
    1
    Championship
  • 18/03/2023
    Middlesbrough
    4
    Preston North End
    0
    Championship
  • 28/11/2023
    Middlesbrough
    4
    Preston North End
    0
    Championship

Preston North End Team News

Barring any new fitness issues, Lowe is expected to name the same Preston XI from the vistory over Cardiff, with only Kian Best and Duane Holmes sidelined through injury.

Lowe used his five substitutions effectively in the closing 17 minutes, with Ryan Ledson or Robbie Brady most likely to return should fresh legs be preferred.

Preston North End's Last 5 Matches

  • 13/01/2024
    Preston North End
    2
    Bristol City
    0
    Championship
  • 21/01/2024
    Leeds United
    2
    Preston North End
    1
    Championship
  • 27/01/2024
    Millwall
    1
    Preston North End
    1
    Championship
  • 03/02/2024
    Preston North End
    3
    Ipswich Town
    2
    Championship
  • 10/02/2024
    Cardiff City
    0
    Preston North End
    2
    Championship

Middlesbrough Team News

Carrick will be expected to make several changes, with Luke Thomas and Riley McGree both in line to get opportunities at left-back and in the final third respectively.

With Josh Coburn likely to miss out again with a groin issue, Sam Greenwood could retain his place in attack, and a further six players – including Matt Crooks who has completed a move to Real Salt Lake – will be absent.

Middlesbrough's Last 5 Matches

  • 13/01/2024
    Millwall
    1
    Middlesbrough
    3
    Championship
  • 20/01/2024
    Middlesbrough
    1
    Rotherham United
    1
    Championship
  • 23/01/2024
    Chelsea
    6
    Middlesbrough
    1
    League Cup
  • 04/02/2024
    Middlesbrough
    1
    Sunderland
    1
    Championship
  • 10/02/2024
    Middlesbrough
    1
    Bristol City
    2
    Championship

Preston North End vs. Middlesbrough: Odds and Predictions

Main Prediction

Double Chance: Middlesbrough or X

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