Preston vs Leeds preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football Red Button
Watch live on Sky Sports Football Red Button and the Sky Sports app from 7.40pm on Tuesday; Kick-off 7.45pm
Last Updated: 21/10/19 5:31pm
Preston face Leeds in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday. Coverage gets under way live on Sky Sports Football Red Button at 7.40pm; Kick-off 7.45pm.
Preston have no new injury or suspension worries for the home game against Leeds. Skipper Tom Clarke has not played since August after sustaining a knee injury and he suffered a reaction in training last week, while striker Louis Moult is a long-term absentee following an anterior cruciate ligament operation.
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The game is likely to come too soon for Tom Bayliss, who has not featured since a substitute appearance in the Carabao Cup clash with Manchester City at the end of September. Boss Alex Neil said of the summer signing from Coventry: "Tom was injured for a few weeks which nobody was aware of. He's been back in training for a week or so now, he missed the last [friendly] so we will be looking to get minutes into his legs in the next one."
Marcelo Bielsa confirmed he will name the same XI that started Leeds' home win over Birmingham on Saturday. Playmaker Pablo Hernandez is not expected to be involved, with the Argentinian boss saying: "The team will be the same. We think Pablo is not going to be able to play this week."
Patrick Bamford will keep his place in attack ahead of Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah, who scored a hat-trick for England U21s last week but had to settle for a substitute role against Blues. Captain Liam Cooper is making steady progress in his recovery from a groin injury but is not likely to return until next month.
Preston continue to defy expectations and sit just four points off Championship top spot going into Tuesday's fixture. They slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Reading last time out, but romped to a 5-1 win over struggling Barnsley before the international break, having drawn 1-1 with Middlesbrough a week earlier.
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Despite their lofty league position, Leeds are not quite taking the division by storm at the moment, as per early season predictions. Bielsa's men beat Birmingham 1-0 last weekend, following a 2-1 defeat to Millwall before the international break. They have won just two of their last five games and have not scored more than one goal in each.
What the managers said...
Preston boss Alex Neil: "I think the players will be glad there is a game on Tuesday to put it right. We are disappointed and frustrated with the game on Saturday, but the focus is on Tuesday now. I spoke with a lot of them individually yesterday and we will speak more collectively today but they don't need telling.
"It's a big opportunity, however I believe we are coming up against one of the best teams in the league. We know the quality they possess but as other teams have shown, they can be beaten, but it will be tough and we will have to be at our best."
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa: "For me, Preston last season were one of the teams who play better in the Championship. I like their style of play, their players have good skills to manage the ball, they have a great midfield and it is a team who have players at a good level in front of their midfield.
"Resting is the most important for the players, with some brief and powerful stimulants on the pitch. When we have more days, we have more possibilities to give more messages because you can put those messages in a period of time. For competing in the Championship you have to be well in a fitness sense, but also mentally."
Talking point: North End's ever-improving home form
Barring last season, where Preston recovered from an early-season relegation scare to finish 14th in the Championship, Neil has enjoyed a successful spell, including taking the club to within two points of the play-offs in the 2017/18 campaign. They have started this season like a house on fire, but just what is that down to?
A multitude of factors, perhaps, but during Neil's reign, Preston have failed to reach double figures for home wins in a season. The squad remained largely untouched during the summer window and it could be a case of players learning from their mistakes, but five wins and a draw from six games at Deepdale represents the best home return of any team in the division. Leeds, however, boast the second-best away record...
Preston have won one of their last nine league matches against Leeds United (W1 D2 L6), a 3-1 win in April 2018.
Leeds are looking to record consecutive away league wins against Preston for the first time, with this their 27th visit there.
Preston are looking to remain unbeaten in their opening seven home league games of a Championship season for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.
Leeds have not lost three consecutive away league matches since losing their final four of the 2017-18 season under Paul Heckingbottom.
Preston have only lost three of their last 27 home league games played on Tuesday (W13 D11 L3), though their most recent game was a 2-0 defeat to Leeds.
Leeds United have won seven of their last 10 games played on Tuesday in all competitions (W7 D1 L2), including a 2-0 away win at Preston in April 2019.
David Prutton predicts: 1-0 (10/1)