Why Sheffield Wednesday are wary of Preston North End strength
Sheffield Wednesday face a stern examination of their promotion credentials when they go to Preston North End.
The Lilywhites, managed by Alex Neil, are a difficult side to beat on their own turf. They suffered just five defeats at Deepdale last season as they secured a 14th-placed Championship finish.
And Preston have made a strong start in their own backyard this time around, overcoming Wigan Athletic and Stoke City 3-0 and 3-1 respectively.
Owls caretaker chief Lee Bullen, who hopes full-back Liam Palmer (back) will be passed fit to play, said: "It’s probably one of the hardest away games we could get.
“Alex Neil has done a great job. He did really well at Norwich and Preston. It looks like a really good fit for the club and Alex.
"Their recruitment has been really good, picking up players from the lower level and giving them a platform to show themselves.
"I know Alex and his assistant realy well. They seem to have built a good working environment there.
“They play front-foot football and have plenty of energy, but there’s areas we can exploit.
“Hopefully we can put on a positive show for the supporters. I think we can do that.
“We’re trying to find a consistent team and the lads who have been playing deserve the jersey. We’ve been playing well and getting results. We’re in a good place."
Wednesday have a lousy recent record against Preston. Their last victory at Deepdale came back in December 2011.
"Our record doesn’t stand up well against them away from home," Bullen conceded. "But as with anything, the more negative results you’ve had against a certain opposition, the closer you are to getting that elusive win."