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Preview: Preston North End vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Championship clash between Preston North End and Cardiff City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Cardiff City will be looking to kickstart their Championship campaign this weekend when they take on Preston North End at Deepdale.

The Bluebirds have won just one of their first four games and are down in 16th, two places below Preston due to an inferior goal difference.

Match preview

Cardiff manager Neil Harris pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Holding the division's top scorers Blackburn Rovers to a goalless draw last time out can be considered a good result for Cardiff, especially after losing Lee Tomlin to a red card.

That stalemate followed on the back of a 2-1 home loss to Reading - a third straight home defeat for the Bluebirds stretching back into last season.

Indeed, Neil Harris's side have performed better on their travels this calendar year, winning four and drawing one of their last five away matches in the Championship.

That is in stark contrast to Preston's three defeats on the spin at Deepdale in all competitions, including back-to-back 1-0 losses in their opening two league matches this term.

Alex Neil's men did get off the mark with their first victory of the campaign last time out, though, by battling to a 4-2 victory at Brentford.

Tom Barkhuizen reacts after being sent off for Preston North End against Stoke City on September 26, 2020© Reuters

Scott Sinclair scored twice to inspire a two-goal comeback for Preston - a result that could well prove to be the turning point in their season, even this early on.

The Lilywhites are now seeking back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since February, having endured a pretty terrible run of form post-lockdown.

Consecutive league wins in something Cardiff have not achieved in this fixture since 2008, but Harris will be looking to change that on Sunday.

The Bluebirds' 3-1 win at Preston in June propelled them on their way to a top-six finish last time out, with Robert Glatzel sealing the victory late on in that one.

If City are to have any hope of achieving the same this time, they need to start getting wins on the board. The same is true of Preston, whose campaign could still go either way.

Preston North End Championship form: WDLDLW
Preston North End form (all competitions): LWDLLW

Cardiff City Championship form: LWLWLD
Cardiff City form (all competitions): WLLWLD

Team News

Lee Tomlin in action for Cardiff City on November 30, 2019© Reuters

Tomlin's red card last time out means that Cardiff will be without their key player this weekend, though Harris hopes to bring in new recruits before Friday's transfer deadline.

Joe Bennett is City's other likely absentee after picking up an injury against Blackburn, which should see Greg Cunningham return at left-back in a like-for-like change.

Striker Kieffer Moore, who has scored six goals in his last nine league games, should be fit after recovering from a toe injury sustained on international duty with Wales.

As for Preston, Tom Barkhuizen is back in contention after his three-game ban for a foul on Stoke City defender Morgan Fox was reduced to one match.

Sean Maguire started up top in the win over Brentford but is the favourite to make way here to accommodate Barkhuizen's return.

Former Swansea City winger Sinclair seems certain to retain his place out wide on the left following his brace at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Pearson, Ledson; Potts, Browne, Sinclair; Barkhuizen

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Osei-Tut, Morrison, Nelson, Cunningham; Ralls, Bacuna, Pack; Murphy, Moore, Hoilett

SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 1-3 Cardiff City

Cardiff tend to do better on their travels than at home, which does not bode well for Preston.

North End have won one of their last seven league games at Deepdale, losing five of those, including a 3-1 loss to Cardiff in June - a scoreline we can see being repeated on Sunday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


Who will win Sunday's Championship clash between Preston North End and Cardiff City?

Preston North End
Cardiff City
Preston North End
Cardiff City
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Tom Barkhuizen reacts after being sent off for Preston North End against Stoke City on September 26, 2020
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