Ipswich v Preston preview
Last Updated: 03/11/17 3:13pm
Ipswich could have midfielder Emyr Huws available for the first time this season following an Achilles problem for the visit of Preston.
The Wales international stepped up his recovery with a run-out for the under-23s on Monday, so may be drafted into the squad, while forward Joe Garner is in line to face his old club. New Zealand defender Tommy Smith is fit again from his hamstring injury and made his first start since August in the Sky Bet Championship defeat at Cardiff on Tuesday night.
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Midfielder Tom Adeyemi has been sidelined by a hamstring problem, while Ted Bishop (groin/hernia) and Luke Hyam (knee) continue their recovery. Andre Dozzell (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Preston's defensive injury crisis has only grown ahead of the trip to Suffolk. Already stretched in that area, North End lost Calum Woods and Josh Earl against Aston Villa on Wednesday to suspected medial ligament knee injuries.
Captain Paul Huntington is at least back from suspension, and he will line up at centre-back alongside Andy Boyle, with Ben Davies (appendix), Tommy Spurr (knee), Tom Clarke (Achilles) and Greg Cunningham (knee) all out. Back-up goalkeeper Declan Rudd and full-back Marnick Vermijl are also currently injured for a North End side that have lost three on the trot.
Ipswich are unbeaten in five matches against Preston at Portman Road in all competitions (W2 D3).
The Lilywhites have only failed to score in one of their last 19 matches against Ipswich in all competitions, though it was their league trip to Portman Road last season.
Mick McCarthy has never beaten Alex Neil in five previous attempts (D3 L2) including two Championship play-off matches in May 2015 when Neil was in charge of East Anglian rivals Norwich City.
Preston are winless in their last five Championship games, losing the last three (D2). They've conceded at least twice in each of these five games.
Bersant Celina has scored four Championship goals for Ipswich this season - three of them have been scored in the 89th minute or later, including his goal in their last match at Cardiff.
After a run of four away games without a goal in the Championship, North End have scored at least twice in each of their last four on the road, netting nine goals in total.