MATCH PREVIEW: Blues V Preston (H)

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Blues' 2-2 at Home to Preston last year
Blues drew 2-2 at Home against Preston last year

Blues are heading into tomorrow’s game against Preston following a 2-0 loss Away against Leeds on Tuesday evening. Although, after now losing 4-on-the-trot, we will stand united and fight to get us out of this poor run of form. Hopefully we can get our season back on track by claiming just our second win of the campaign against Preston.

Blues are currently in a position where we are playing well, but just not winning, and after a fairly contested game with Leeds in the week, the Home side grabbed a second goal late on into the second half, where salt was really rubbed into the wounds of an already suffering team. Our defeat against Thomas Christiansen’s men has now seen us into the relegation zone, amongst Brentford and Bolton Wanderers.

Blues fan favourite, Che Adams, played a small margin of the game on Tuesday, yet he failed to make too much of an impact, and it felt like a kick in the teeth when the West Yorkshire side somehow grabbed their second goal of the contest. Che is still currently fully recovering from his hamstring incident he was threatened with last month, and with a brief appearance against the Whites, he is still looking to get back ASAP to get us out of trouble. But HR has warned that he will not rush anything regarding Che’s issue, as he wants him back to 100% rather than risking him for the rest of the season.

Nevertheless, we are still a brilliant side with excellent players, and now with near enough the strongest side we’ve had in a long time, we should hopefully get this bad luck over with and crack on with the season.

Our opponents for tomorrow’s afternoon clash, proudly ran the show against Cardiff City in a 3-0 win on Tuesday evening, where they were successfully the first team to claim victory against the Bluebirds in the new campaign. Thus meaning that the moral within the opposing side will be sky-high, but the blue boys will be looking to bring Alex Neil’s side back down to Earth, as we set our goal on beating the Lancashire side, to add a much needed three points to our points tally.

Josh Harrop scores a free-kick in Preston's 3-0 win V Cardiff
Josh Harrop scores a free-kick in Preston’s 3-0 win against Cardiff

Jordan Hugill is the main threat for our contenders, who has netted 3 times in all competitions since the 17/18 season began. Jordan, 25, was linked with a summer transfer to St. Andrew’s, but the Lilywhites turned down the opportunity to cash-in for their top striker, and rightfully so, as the well looked on striker aims to improve his goal-to-game ratio for the season by scoring a few against us today.

But both side’s will have to provide tip-top performnaces tomorrow, as two no nonsense manager’s will test their player’s to the limits to declare who will be triumphant in the 8th game of the season.

Team News:

BLUES – Che Adams and Jota will not play through hamstring injuries. Carl Jenkinson is still out because of a shoulder problem. Vassell could make an appearance after recovering from a hamstring issue.

PRESTON – Declan Rudd, Greg Cunningham and Tom Clarke are sidelined due to injuries. Ben Pearson is unlikely to feature. Daniel Johnson should be fit and play some of the game.

Head-To-Head:

Blues Wins – 34
Games Drawn – 22
Preston Wins – 35
Biggest Win – Preston 8-0 Blues

League Form:

BLUES: DLLLL

PRESTON: LWDDW

Previous Encounter:

Preston 2-1 Blues (14th Feb 2017)

Predicted Lineup:

lineup111505491970538

Blues set to go with a 4-at-the-back set up alike the one that was featured against Leeds on Tuesday night. There is no sign of Vassell making a start, so it looks as though David Davis could fill in on the right again. Walsh and Ndoye look like a strong partnership in midfield, attempting to fill the shoes of Jota whilst he is recovering. Roberts looks likely to make it back in to the team.

Thoughts from the Boss:

On the threat posed by Preston:

It’ll be a tough game against a though side. Alex Neil has done a great job with them and they’re a good team and they work hard. But we’re at home with the great fans that will get behind the team and we’ll be doing our best to pick up three points.

On how close the Championship is:

There’s nothing in the league. One win can take you up about eight places. Every year somebody comes with a run. There are 39 games to go. I’ve had two away games with the new players, and in both games, I thought that we were excellent. We just didn’t get a result.

On the need to build on the performance against Leeds:

Anyone that saw the game at Leeds could see we were fantastic. I’ve put a team together now that is a good team but I’m still learning about these players what they can do and how they can play together, how they fit in and getting a balance to the team. That’s not going to happen overnight but it will happen and when it does happen Birmingham City are going to be a very good football team. At Elland Road, I saw a Birmingham team dominating one of the best teams in the league. We controlled the game and we just couldn’t get the break. At 1-0 they were hanging on for grim life. We were pushing everybody up at the end trying to get the equaliser and we get done on the break and lost 2-0. Their manager came out afterwards and said it was the toughest game they’d had.

On the need to remain patient:

I know going forward Birmingham are not going to be far away. There are now a group of players here that will be up there challenging for promotion this year or next year. I think it’s exciting times ahead but people are just going to have be a little bit patient because I brought new players in, but long-term we’ve got some good players now.

Score Prediction:

Despite us falling to defeat to Leeds on Tuesday night, Blues will be looking to get a vital win against a confident PNE side. So I may be slightly optimistic with this one, but I’m going to go for a 2-0 win tomorrow.

It’s about time that we finally end this terrible run of form, and grab a win to go to Pride Park next week with all the confidence in the world. COYBB!

That’s my score prediction, but I want to hear yours! Comment them below, and feel free to tell us what you think about this Match Preview…

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