Preston vs Plymouth predictions: Argyle can give old boss food for thought
- Preston are top of Championship with four wins from five
- Plymouth beat Blackburn last time to end a four-game winless run
- Recommended bet: Draw
Preston are off to a dream start to the season with four wins and a draw taking them to the top of the Championship table.
They will be confident they can continue the good work by seeing off Plymouth, though the Pilgrims were excellent away from home during their League One-winning campaign.
Ryan Lowe has a striking conundrum to solve after Will Keane, scorer of half of their eight league goals, limped out of action when playing for Republic of Ireland last week.
Emil Riis and Ched Evans would have been obvious stand-ins but both remain sidelined although Evans has returned to training.
This could open the door for new signing, Montenegro international Milutin Osmajic, to make his debut.
Argyle boss Steven Schumacher may decide against changing the side who beat Blackburn 3-0 with Brendan Galloway and Saxon Earley out.
Preston are top — but have failed to win a single first half in any of their five matches.
Ryan Lowe's men have lost just one of their last 10 home matches in the Championship.
Plymouth signed off their League One-winning campaign by triumphing in each of their last five away games.
They snapped a four-game winless streak (in all competitions) immediately before the international break by beating Blackburn 3-0.
This is the first meeting between the clubs in over 13 years.
Preston are enjoying their best start to a season for years and are a short price to make it five wins in six and retain top spot in the Championship.
Certainly the last two wins — at home to Swansea and away at Stoke — show that there is a toughness about Lowe's side.
But the likely absence of four-goal top scorer Keane, the club's one fit striker until Milutin Osmajic was signed in the window, makes you wonder if this might not become a slog.
They are 21st in the table for shots per game, just nine per match, more than half the number being produced by the likes of Southampton, Watford and Ipswich.
That tells you their games are generally tight and the draw is arguably the better value than a North End win, especially as Plymouth have already drawn at Watford this season where they showed commendable spirit under periods of onslaught.
Lowe, the Plymouth boss before heading for Preston, wanted current Argyle chief Steven Schumacher to join him when he left for Deepdale.
They remain good mates and there is no doubt Schumacher made the right choice given the success he has had in Devon since Lowe's exit.
Plymouth are a positive side but, as was proved in the 0-0 draw with Watford, good defences at this level can blunt them. And Preston's right now is as good as they come in the division.
This looks likely to be tight and under 2.5 goals makes a plausible alternative to a match outright bet, though it's an odds-on shot.
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