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Preston go into their game on Tyneside on the back of 3 straight defeats. Their hosts may yet make matters worse too, looking to bounce back and close down the distance between themselves and Huddersfield in the top 2.
Simon Grayson’s side have done ever so well this season but just appear to be tailing off right now. Having beaten Bristol City 5-0 at the start of the month, they have since suffered reverses at Leeds and Huddersfield, as well as a home defeat to Norwich last time.
Things got worse since then, with more injuries now piling up for the North West side, which may now virtually pick itself. There is no reason to think that Grayson will not go with his usual 4-4-2.
Despite the challenge from former Manchester United stopper Anders Lindegaard, Maxwell has been in good form this term and should keep his place.
There might be another chance offered to the Belgian right-back here, who has netted twice this season and is decent while going forward.
In as a replacement for inspirational skipper Tom Clarke, Boyle can carry on at centre-back. Clarke’s injury appears serious and he will miss almost a year.
Former Newcastle man will have fond memories of playing at St James’ Park. However, his job this time is to stop Mitrovic, Murphy, and co.
Greg Cunningham went off with a bad injury last time and Spurr should step in at left-back.
The 23-year-old midfielder has had limited chances to impress this season, though he has managed 6 goals and should be dangerous on the day.
A regular member of the team, Gallagher can partner Browne in the middle.
The young midfielder may attract bids this summer, but for now, he is a mainstay of the Preston team.
The former Celtic and Everton man retains plenty of ability and will be a danger on the left-hand side. McGeady has 8 goals in the league this season.
Robinson has now passed double figures in terms of goals scored for the season in the Championship and at 22-years of age, he would still get better.
The boy from Middlesbrough will want to make his mark in the North East and 11 goals from 41 goals in the league this season says he is fully capable.