Newcastle United vs Preston
English Championship 2016/17
24th April,19:45pm BST
St James’ Park, Newcastle
Newcastle United will take on Preston in a crucial Championship match on Monday night.
A poor run in the last three games (two defeats and a draw) had shown the Magpies loosing grip on the title. However, a victory against Preston would seal Newcastle’s place in the top flight next season.
Ahead of the match, Rafael Benitez has issued warning to his players saying they still have “work to do;” he feels the visiting teams will up their game while playing against them.
Newcastle still have an outside chance of winning the Championship title. They are seven points behind Brighton, who are already promoted, having played a game less.
Benitez stated that he is not concerned whether Newcastle would finish first or second; all he is looking for is to get the promotion.
Preston lost 6-0 in the League Cup defeat against Magpies in October. They have lost their last three games, but will be looking to put up a good fight here.
Newcastle will be without the influential Dwight Gayle who is still nursing his hamstring injury. Ciaran Clark has returned to full training after a knee problem, and could play a part in this game.
For Preston, left-back Greg Cunningham will miss out with a leg injury along with skipper Tom Clarke. Alex Baptiste and Ben Pearson remain suspended.
Predicted Newcastle starting lineup: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu, Diame, Ritchie, Murphy
Predicted Preston starting lineup: Maxwell, Spurr, Huntington, Boyle, Vermijl, McGeady, Gallagher, Browne, Barkhuizen, Robinson, Hugill
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Preston