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Southampton logo
Championship | Gameweek 36
Apr 16, 2024 at 8pm UK
St. Mary's Stadium
Preston North End logo

3 - 0

Adams (19', 29'), Armstrong (33')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Mawene (1'), Lowe (2'), Holmes (23')

Preview: Southampton vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Southampton and Preston North End, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Looking to claw themselves back into the conversation for automatic promotion, Southampton will welcome Preston North End to St Mary's Stadium for a vitally-important Championship clash on Tuesday night.

The Saints secured a last-gasp victory over Watford on the weekend, whilst the Lilywhites were narrowly defeated at Deepdale by a resurgent Norwich City outfit.

Match preview

Southampton manager Russell Martin after the match on April 1, 2024© Reuters

Finding themselves with a two-goal lead after 20 minutes following strikes from William Smallbone and Che Adams on Saturday versus Watford, Southampton fans can be forgiven for thinking that a 24th win of the Championship campaign was going to be a breeze for the remainder of the match.

However, the Hornets were able to produce a double sting either side of the half-time whistle to level the scores thanks to Ryan Porteous and Ismael Kone, although the Saints secured a much-needed maximum in added-on time, with Flynn Downes netting his second of the league term.

With Ipswich Town, Leicester City and Leeds United all dropping points over the weekend, Russell Martin's side are beginning to rejoin the picture in terms of automatic promotion, with Southampton currently eight points behind first-placed Tractor Boys having played two games fewer.

Since a run of three-straight defeats across the Championship and the FA Cup rounded off February on a sour note, the Saints have tasted defeat in just one of their last seven second-tier matches, including home wins over Sunderland, Coventry City and Tom Cleverley's Watford.

Despite scoring 20 goals and providing 12 assists in the Championship for Southampton this season, leading marksman Adam Armstrong was not included in the Championship's Team of the Year, although Kyle Walker-Peters did make the cut thanks to an impressive campaign at full-back.

Preston North End Manager Ryan Lowe on December 26, 2023© Reuters

Preston's chances of achieving a top-six finish are all but over owing to a narrow 1-0 defeat to playoff rivals Norwich at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon, when the Lilywhites were unable to claim any points from the side who could very well end up in sixth place by the final kick on May 4.

Last Tuesday's 4-1 home success over relegation-threatened Huddersfield Town would have given Preston plenty of confidence heading into the Norwich clash, but David Wagner's East Anglians were a completely different kettle of fish compared to the struggling Terriers, and Gabriel Sara's 86th-minute strike sealed all the points for the Canaries.

Heading into the final four matches of their campaign, Ryan Lowe's side are currently occupying 10th position in the Championship standings, eight points behind sixth-placed Norwich, meaning that a near-flawless run from Preston is now required to place inside the top six.

Although Milutin Osmajic's eight-minute hat-trick versus Huddersfield has stolen the limelight, the continued work of striking partner Will Keane cannot be underestimated this season, with the former Wigan Athletic man netting a career-best total of 13 Championship goals.

Southampton Championship form:

Preston North End Championship form:

Team News

Preston North End's Liam Millar celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on September 16, 2023© Reuters

Southampton remain without the services of striker Ross Stewart, who has endured an injury-riddled time since his move from Sunderland in the summer.

The Saints will also be able to call upon the talents of Juan Larios, who suffered a long-term hamstring issue in August and is yet to feature this season.

Martin could opt to freshen up his starting side on Tuesday night, with the likes of Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Fraser reliable heads who could be drafted into the XI.

Preston will miss the directness of Liam Millar on the flanks, with the Basel loanee potentially out for the remainder of the campaign due to a groin strain.

The Lilywhites' options at wing-back are further limited by the absence of Brad Potts, who is a doubt for Tuesday's trip to the South Coast.

Ben Whiteman remains in Preston's medical room due to a leg injury, meaning that Ryan Ledson could partner Irishman Alan Browne in the engine room.

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Stephens, Manning; Downes, Smallbone, S Armstrong; Fraser, A Armstrong, Adams

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Holmes, Ledson, Browne, Brady, Frokjaer-Jensen; Osmajic, Keane

SM words green background

We say: Southampton 3-0 Preston North End

Knowing that a top-two finish is a realistic opportunity once more, Southampton should be fired up to take advantage of their promotion rivals slipping up on the weekend.

Preston's playoff push is essentially over after the defeat to Norwich, and we believe that they will slump to a convincing defeat at St Mary's on Tuesday night.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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