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Match Previews

Albion v Preston match preview

25 February 2020

Slaven Bilić's men could make it six Sky Bet Championship games unbeaten when Preston North End visit The Hawthorns on Tuesday night (ko 8pm).

Preston

Their last outing

In their most recent game, Preston came from a goal down to beat Hull City 2-1 at Deepdale. 

Mallik Wilks opened the scoring for the visitors just before half-time. However, the hosts staged a quick-fire comeback with about 20 minutes to play as Paul Gallagher and Alan Browne both netted to help the Lilywhites to their fifth win from their last seven games.

PRESTON: Rudd; Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Pearson, Gallagher (Potts 89); Barkhuizen, Harrop, Sinclair (Stockley 58); Maguire (Browne 58).

Substitutes: Clarke, Rafferty, Ripley, Nugent.

In the dugout

In his first managerial role, Alex Neil guided Hamilton Academical to the top flight of Scottish football, and then after a good start to the season, moved to Norwich City.

The Canaries managed 17 wins from 25 games and gained promotion via the Play-Offs, although they were relegated after a single season in the Premier League.

With Norwich eighth in the Championship, Alex Neil departed Carrow Road in March 2017 and joined Preston in July 2017. 

In his first season at Deepdale, Preston finished seventh, before ending up in 14th-place last term - but this season they are mounting a Play-Off push and are currently sixth in the table.

2020_02_24 Alex Neil.jpg

One to watch

Scott Sinclair joined Preston from Celtic in January and has been a regular in their team since.

The 30-year-old winger had a brief loan spell at The Hawthorns in the 2013/14 season, but played in just eight league games.

Sinclair started his career at Bristol Rovers and then moved to Chelsea, and was loaned to Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic.

A permanent move to Swansea City followed before joining Manchester City, moving on loan to Albion and Aston Villa, before making his Villa switch permanent - with his most recent spells at Celtic and Preston completing his football journey so far.

Our last league meeting

A last-minute Charlie Austin penalty helped Albion to a 1-0 victory in their most recent fixture against Preston at Deepdale in December.

Despite a dominant performance Slaven Bilić’s side found themselves heading into the final minute level at 0-0, but when Kyle Edwards rushed through on goal he was tripped by Declan Rudd, and Oliver Langford pointed to the spot.

Charlie Austin scored from the spot, sending Rudd the wrong way before side-footing his penalty into the bottom-right corner - creating scenes of jubilation in the away end.

2020_02_24 Charlie Austin.jpg

Stats

Albion

• Slaven's side are currently five games without defeat (P5, W4, D1). Brentford and Birmingham are the only other teams in the division not to have lost any of their last five fixtures.

• Albion have netted 11 goals so far in February, and remain the highest scorers in the Championship with 62 goals to their name in total.

• The Baggies have won nine home games in a row against Preston. The visitors' last triumph at The Hawthorns was back in 1973.

Preston

• Ahead of the midweek matches North End occupy the final Play-Off spot, having picked up 56 points from 34 games.

• They are unbeaten away from home since the beginning of December (P6, W3, D3).

• Preston have faced Albion twice in February this century, winning them both.

Head to head

 

Albion wins

Draws

Preston wins

League

40

24

37

FA Cup

6

0

2

League Cup

2

2

0

Total

48

26

39

Our man to watch

Hal Robson-Kanu brought his tally up to nine for the season with a brace against Bristol City on the weekend - his highest ever goalscoring campaign.

He was in the right place at the right time to scramble home Albion's second goal of the afternoon at Ashton Gate, before smashing a superb volley past Daniel Bentley to send the travelling Baggies into raptures late on.

2020_02_24 HRK goal v Bristol City cele.jpg

Best of social

Ticket news

Seats remain on general sale for the clash.

Supporters can purchase tickets online, in person from the East Stand Ticket Office or by calling 0121 227 2227.

Prices:

Adults £20-23
Seniors (over 65s) £15-17
Under-23s £15
Under-18s £10
Under-11s £5
Disabled £10

To avoid booking fees and queue times, supporters can print their e-tickets at home or save them to their mobile phone.

All e-ticket purchases are exempt from online booking fees which will save supporters £1.25 on every ticket bought in this way.

Follow the game

Comprehensive coverage of the clash with Preston is available in our Match Centre, where you can listen to live commentary on WBA Radio or follow our live text feed.

WBA Radio is the only service that allows Baggies fans around the world - from Smethwick to the Sahara - access to uninterrupted live commentaries from every one of our competitive games.

iFollow subscribers can join Gez Mulholland and Andy Johnson for Baggies-biased live commentary on Tuesday.

Supporters who have an iFollow subscription may be able to live stream the game depending on where they are located around the world. To find out, click here.

You’ll also be able to find score updates on the club's social media channels.

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