Wolves v Preston preview
Last Updated: 20/10/17 12:52pm
Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves are optimistic Willy Boly will be fit for the visit of Preston.
The central defender has missed the past seven weeks after straining his hamstring but is expected to either return at the weekend or against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo will choose between Leo Bonatini and Helder Costa, after the former impressed in replacing the latter as a substitute in the defeat of Aston Villa. Wolves are otherwise expected to make few changes to a winning team.
Preston striker Sean Maguire is a doubt for his side's trip to Molineux due to a hamstring injury. Maguire lasted just half an hour of last week's 2-2 draw at Fulham, although the Republic of Ireland international still had time to set up the opening goal and score the second.
There was better news for North End boss Alex Neil in relation to the other two players who were substituted at Craven Cottage, Tom Barkhuizen and Ben Pearson. Barkhuizen was suffering with cramp and should be fit to face Wolves, while midfielder Pearson was able to play for an hour on his first appearance since August 26.
Wolves haven't won back to back home league games against Preston since November 1988 (5).
The Lilywhites have failed to score in four of their last six league games against Wolves (three goals scored in total).
Wolves have picked up 26 points after their opening 12 Championship games - their best start in this division since 2001-02 (27 points), although they narrowly missed out on promotion that season.
Since losing to Derby on matchday three, Preston have been unbeaten in their last nine (W4 D5), though three of the last four have been stalemates.
Diogo Jota has scored six goals in his last seven league matches for Wolverhampton, including three in his last four at the Molineux.
Preston's Chris Maxwell and Wolves' keeper John Ruddy have both kept six clean sheets in the Championship this season; no keepers have kept more.
Another real test for Wolves on Saturday. They absolutely dominated Aston Villa last week but Preston are a totally different proposition, and it's some of the rougher challenges that have seen Nuno's side slip up this season.
If they can beat Alex Neil's side, who would have been just three points behind them if they'd held on against Fulham last week, then it will lay down a real marker to the rest of the Championship.
Prutton predicts: 1-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet)