Preston and Stoke could cancel each other out in a stinker
Goals may be in short supply
Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football, 5.30pm Saturday
Well fancied to bounce straight back after relegation, Gary Rowett’s lads look a million miles away from promotion candidates.
Stuffed at Leeds in their opener, they did at least manage to take a point at Brentford despite being awful for long periods.
Two goals scored – both by Benik Afobe, one from the penalty spot and one courtesy of a goalkeeping howler - is all they have to show for their efforts.
Stoke look poor and Preston were also disappointing at Swansea last weekend when they followed up a 1-0 home win against QPR with a 1-0 loss. They could have snatched a draw after a frantic last half hour but Swansea were resilient and they can expect Stoke to be similar.
North End’s two games have produced just two goals – the lowest total in the second tier – and the sense that goals will be scarce this evening adds ammo to the idea of a bet on the stalemate.
Preston did hit three past Morecambe in the League Cup on Tuesday, although that was after boss Alex Neil had changed all 11 players. Only one or two can expect to be in the mix on Saturday.
They are, however, pretty confident. They finished last season on a five-match unbeaten run and are proving hard to break down.
Stoke have had just one win in 16 and confidence still appears thin on the ground, even under new management and with a hefty influx of new players.
They need to tighten up and this could be a low-scorer although the 8-11 about under 2.5 goals isn’t worth getting over-excited about.
1pt 23-10 bet365, Hills
Preston’s two games have produced two goals, the fewest of any Championship side.
Billy Bodin and Sean Maguire are still crocked. They have been joined in the treatment room by Calum Woods.
Bruno Martins Indi, injured against Brentford, is a doubt. Sam Clucas is still out.
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