Preston vs West Brom preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm on Monday; Kick-off is at 7.45pm
Last Updated: 02/12/19 8:00pm
Preston face West Brom in the Sky Bet Championship on Monday, live on Sky Sports Football.
Preston manager Alex Neil will have to make a late call on a number of players as his side prepare to face Championship leaders West Brom on Monday. Defensive pair Ben Davies and Darnell Fisher missed their side's 4-0 defeat to Hull on Tuesday, and could also miss the West Brom clash.
Alan Browne, who has played at right-back, also missed the Hull defeat with a hamstring problem, while Andrew Hughes (knee) and Tom Clarke (foot) remain on the long-term injury list. Neil admitted he was not sure who would be available for Monday's match.
West Brom manager Slaven Bilic has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the trip to Preston. Chris Brunt, Kenneth Zohore, Conor Townsend and Rekeem Harper missed out during the Baggies' 4-1 win over Bristol City on Wednesday and could be options if the manager wants to rotate his squad.
Hal Robson-Kanu is expected to start, having scored five goals in his last seven matches. West Brom have won their last four successive matches, and Bilic will be hoping their run continues against fifth-placed Preston.
Having enjoyed a successful start to their Championship campaign, Preston looked in decent shape until the international break in early November, In the two games since, however, they've lost 1-0 away at Derby and were thumped 4-0 by Hull on Wednesday.
Slaven Bilic's West Brom come into the game looking for their fifth league win in succession. They've beaten Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull and Stoke, scoring nine and conceding just two across their winning streak so far.
What the managers said...
Preston's Alex Neil: "Football, when it's going easy, it's easy to take all the plaudits. What I'm going to have to do tonight [after the Hull defeat] and the players are going to have to do is take their medicine, which is the criticism that comes our way, which is merited.
"Now, we need to react, we need to respond and we need to do better in the next games coming up."
West Brom's Slaven Bilic: "It's been a really good week. I think we've deserved it. We also have to appreciate it, and to know what led us to this good week - hours and hours of training - and the only way we can have another week like this is basically following a very simple formula.
"You have to earn it, you have to work really hard to maintain and improve your efforts and everything to deserve the luck we needed. If we stay like that, humble and positive but also strong and arrogant, then hopefully it's very likely that we're going to have more weeks like this."
Talking point: Bilic's Baggies turning up style
At this point last season, eventual champions Norwich were just about edging themselves onto the top of the Championship table. In contrast, West Brom have pretty much exclusively occupied top spot since the end of September.
While they faltered in the play-offs last season, it appears that they've learned from their mistakes and are putting them right to devastating effect, having been on the losing side just once, in a 1-0 defeat to Leeds. Perhaps one criticism would be their tendency to concede more often than they'd like, but if they keep up this pace, it won't matter an awful lot.
Preston's 2-3 defeat in this exact fixture last season ended an 11-match unbeaten run versus West Brom at Deepdale in league competition (W8 D3).
West Brom have won their last three league contests against Preston, netting 3+ goals in each of those victories (10 scored). The Baggies last won four in a row against the Lilywhites between January 1953 and September 1954.
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Preston have lost back-to-back Championship games without scoring, last losing three on the bounce without finding the back of the net in February 2011.
West Brom have won 39 points from their opening 18 Championship games this season - considering three points for a win, only in 1953-54 (41 points in the top-flight) and 1901-02 (42 points in the second tier) have the Baggies won more points at this stage of a campaign across the top four tiers of English Football.
Preston have scored 14 goals from set-pieces in the Championship this season, including four of their last six - more than any other side in the division.
West Brom's Matheus Pereira has provided more assists than any other Championship player this season (7).
Preston have hit the buffers in their last couple of games, losing their last two. They are starting to lose ground on the sides above them in the automatic promotion race.
West Brom have been excellent lately and possess so much quality. Winning at Deepdale would be a huge statement from Slaven Bilic's side. I think they have enough to claim all three points.
David Prutton predicts: 1-2 (17/2 with Sky Bet)