Preston vs Stoke preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm on Wednesday; Kick-off is at 7.45pm
Last Updated: 20/08/19 4:59pm
Preston face Stoke in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday evening, live on Sky Sports.
Coverage gets underway live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm, while kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Preston will be without striker Louis Moult when they entertain Stoke in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday evening. The frontman was carried off on a stretcher after suffering suspected knee ligament damage during Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Swansea and is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
He was replaced by Andre Green and he and Jayden Stockley will battle it out for the nod against the Potters. Defender Andrew Hughes missed the game in Wales through injury and will be assessed, while veteran frontman David Nugent is still missing with a calf injury.
Stoke boss Nathan Jones will have midfielder Nick Powell back at his disposal for the first time since the opening day of the campaign. Powell has been missing since damaging a calf muscle but is fit again and available for selection at Deepdale.
Midfielder Peter Etebo made his first league appearance of the season as a late substitute in Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Derby, and he will hope for further involvement. The point City collected against the Rams was their first of the season following defeats to QPR and Charlton.
It's been a mixed start for Preston, who have won two and lost two of their four games in all competitions. Millwall claimed the spoils in a 1-0 loss to start, while Wigan were downed 3-0 the following weekend; Bradford were thumped 4-0 in the Carabao Cup, too. North End lost 3-2 against Swansea on the weekend just gone.
Stoke's only victory has come against Wigan in the cup and they've lost 2-1 to QPR and 3-1 to Charlton, but a Scott Hogan double salvaged a point against Derby after a 2-2 draw at Pride Park.
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Talking point - Can Potters arrest worrying form under Nathan Jones?
Nathan Jones left Luton for Stoke earlier this year with a plan to implement a whole new identity for the Potters. In came his tried-and-tested diamond formation, improved behind-the-scenes analysis and recruitment. Eventually out went the deadwood and luxury players like Bojan. Naturally, results were likely to be frustrating.
But the club became synonymous for their serial drawing of games, ending with three wins and 13 draws from their final 20. There were high hopes it would click into place with the signing of experienced EFL players such as Lee Gregory, Jordan Cousins and Nick Powell, but their sole win came when they scraped past Wigan in the Carabao Cup.
"I am devastated with the result, to be honest. I work so hard. I do 12 hours a day, seven days a week to plan and put structures in place," said an emotional Jones after Saturday's 2-2 draw with Derby. In the impatient industry that football now is, how long will patience last for the Stoke hierarchy?
Preston have won six of their last eight home league games against Stoke (W6 D1 L1).
Stoke have won just one of their last seven league matches against Preston (W1 D3 L3), winning 3-1 in January 2008.
Following a run of just two goals and one win in five league games at Deepdale, Preston have netted 10 times in their last three, winning two and drawing one of those matches.
Since taking charge of Stoke City in January earlier this year, Nathan Jones has failed to see his side score more than once in any of his 12 away matches in all competitions, with the Potters netting once in six games, whilst failing to score in the other six (P12 W2 D5 L5).
Daniel Johnson has been directly involved in three of Preston's five league goals so far this season, assisting two in their first home game against Wigan, before netting a penalty last time out in their 2-3 defeat to Swansea.
Stoke City have won just one of their last 10 league matches played on a Wednesday (P10 W1 D6 L3), failing to score in eight of those matches (three goals total).
If Preston are going to make the leap into the top six this season, they will need to start picking up at least a point from games like the one on Saturday, where they led at Swansea and then pulled level at 2-2, but still came away with nothing.
Stoke are improving under Jones but they need to start winning games soon. One point from the first three games they have had is not good enough. They may well lose at Deepdale as well.
David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)