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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Injury-ravaged Preston look there for the taking

Blades can bounce back against troubled Tigers

Martyn Waghorn is one of a number of Ipswich's attacking options
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Ipswich v Preston
Ipswich have been a model of inconsistency in the Sky Bet Championship this season, winning seven and losing seven league games, but they are only four points outside the playoffs and can edge closer by beating injury-ravaged Preston at Portman Road.

Town manager Mick McCarthy is the division's longest-serving manager but is far from universally popular among the club's supporters after a recent downturn in results.

McCarthy has come in for criticism due to a perceived direct style of play and a reluctance to use Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina, a fan favourite who has netted five goals in 12 appearances this term.

Celina has made just three league starts and completed 90 minutes for the first time this season when scoring in a 3-1 defeat at Cardiff on Tuesday.

Competition for places in attack is fierce with Celina up against fellow strikers David McGoldrick, Martyn Waghorn, Joe Garner and Freddie Sears.

Ipswich have far fewer resources in midfield but Welsh international Emyr Huws is available after featuring for the Under-23s in midweek and his likely return could make a big difference.

While Ipswich should be stronger, Preston are facing an injury crisis with seven defenders (Callum Woods, Josh Earl, Tom Clarke, Greg Cunningham, Ben Davies and Tommy Spurr and Marnick Vermijl) sidelined.

The situation is so bad that Preston manager Alex Neil has described it as the worst he has come across in 20 years.

North End have conceded at least two goals in each of their last five games and are unlikely to recover from their recent slump until the treatment room empties.

Recommendation
Ipswich draw no bet
2pts 20-21 BoyleSports

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Billy Sharp and Sheffield United can claim another victory on Saturday

Sheffield United v Hull
High standards are demanded by Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and he is likely to get a positive response from his players when they take on Hull at Bramall Lane.

United haven't had many setbacks this season but they were deservedly defeated 1-0 at QPR on Tuesday.

Wilder pulled no punches in his post-match interview and his honesty usually serves the club well.

Each of United's last five defeats have been followed up with a victory and they have a great chance of defeating Hull, who are sliding towards the relegation battle.

The Tigers have lost their last two matches and their manager, Leonid Slutsky, was downbeat after Tuesday's 3-1 reverse at home to Middlesbrough.

Slutsky recognised that the Hull board could be considering a managerial change and he needs results quickly to get some breathing space.

However, his options have been further reduced by an injury to centre-back Ondrej Mazuch sustained in Tuesday night's warm-up and a suspension to defender Michael Hector.

Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori is likely to be drafted into a rejigged back four but faces a tough task against the highflying Blades, who should record a fourth successive home victory.

Recommendation
Sheffield United
2pts 13-15 188Bet

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Yeovil v Southend
Southend have recovered strongly from a slow start to the Sky Bet League One season and can make their class count by beating Sky Bet League Two strugglers Yeovil in an FA Cup first-round tie at Huish Park.

Injuries disrupted the Shrimpers at the start of the season but their treatment room has emptied in recent weeks and Southend have flourished, winning six of their last nine games.

Last Saturday's 1-0 win at Walsall was enough to lift them up to 11th, their highest position this season.

Yeovil are also on a decent run, losing one of their last five games, but last Saturday's 3-0 success at home to Stevenage came at a cost with strikers Olufela Olomola and Francois Zoko collecting red cards.

Both are suspended, leaving Yeovil short of the firepower they need to trouble Southend.

Recommendation
Southend
2pts 5-6 188Bet, bet365

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Peterborough v Tranmere
Tranmere are having a tough time in the National League - they have won only six of their 18 league games - and do not look in the right shape to spring a surprise in their FA Cup first-round tie with Peterborough at London Road.

Micky Mellon's Rovers' side have won just one of their last five away league games. As one of the biggest clubs in the fifth tier, they are performing well short of expectations.


Read more Saturday tipping columns

Mark Langdon

Kevin Pullein


They are unlikely to trouble Peterborough, who edged up to ninth in Sky Bet League One with last Saturday's 1-0 success at home to leaders Shrewsbury.

Recommendation
Peterborough
2pts 8-13 Betway, Sky Bet

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


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Injuries disrupted the Shrimpers at the start of the season but their treatment room has emptied in recent weeks and Southend have flourished
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