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Preston North End have never before graced the Premier League and whilst they have flirted with the possibility of making the massive jump into the top-flight in previous seasons, they have always been the bridesmaid so to speak.
This looks set to be the case at the end of 2016/17 and whilst the nine point gap between the Lilywhites and the play-off places is far from insurmountable given that there remain thirteen games left to play, one feels that Simon Grayson’s men will be staying put in the Championship for at least another season.
A similar situation embraces QPR at the moment. The west London outfit have been out of the top flight for two years and look extremely unlikely to be returning in time for 2017/18 as things stand. Indeed Ian Holloway’s men sit substantially closer to the bottom three in the Championship although there remains little possibility that the side will become embroiled in any relegation battle, at least not this season at any rate.
Indeed Rangers head into this weekend’s clash at Deepdale on the back of a mini-revival, if one could call it that. Holloway’s side have managed back-to-back wins over Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, however whilst this is hardly a huge cause for celebration, it might be enough to re-ignite what has been a somewhat lacklustre season at Loftus Road.
Either way, we cannot really make a strong case for a QPR victory this weekend. Whilst the West Londoners impressed in their 4-1 win in Birmingham last weekend, their form away from home this season has been pretty indifferent and they will certainly struggle against a Preston side which are unbeaten in the league at Deepdale since Boxing Day. Indeed the hosts have suffered just five home defeats since the start of the season and we don’t envisage QPR adding to this number on Saturday afternoon.
A consolation goal may be in order for a Rangers outfit which have failed to find the net just once in their last eleven competitive matches, however Preston look set to collect all three points and possibly narrow the gap between themselves and the top six in the Championship.