Taking a look at whether unfancied Preston North End can upset the form book and quality for the Championship play-offs.
I’ve always said this and I always stand by decision that the Championship is one of the highest competing divisions across the whole of Europe. We have seen a number of impressive Premier League sides be dropped in the division and either comes close of face the drop again or are actually relegated straight into League 1.
The same goes for the playoff spot. You could be 12th and still only find yourself 6 points behind the 6th spot. That’s how close this league is, and there are a few teams flirting with the play-off position and Preston North End is one of them.
They haven’t been in the playoffs since 2001 where they were beaten by Bolton which can be seen with this infographic showing their entire history, but maybe they can make some new history by creeping into the playoff and maybe, just maybe produce the footballing world with a miracle and edging themselves into the play-offs.
Can they make the play-offs?
They certainly can! They are currently only 6 points behind Sheffield Wednesday who find themselves in 6th place on 45 points, all it takes is Preston to find some momentum and produce a strong resurgence in the latter part of the season and try for a push.
They have already shown what they are capable of by ending Brighton’s 17-match unbeaten streak with a 2-0 win thanks to the goals by Huntington and Robinson. So they’ve shown they can beat one of the best teams in the league, they just need to pick up some form and make something of it.
In regards to their form, they are currently on a 3 match unbeaten streak, and have Aston Villa next, who have only managed one win in five compared to Preston’s two wins and a draw.
If they do manage to beat Villa then they are definitely in the driving seat for a late play off push.
Will they make the play-offs?
The question is, will they make the playoffs? Personally I think they have a chance, but it all depends on the teams around them. Here is the table highlighting the last 10 games of each club in the Championship and you can see that Wednesday who occupy 6th spot haven’t lost a game in 5 and if teams keep performing above them… then I think it may be too much for the club.
That said, they have showed promise, they just need to start taking points off of the rival competitors. Losing points against Wednesday with a 94th minute goal could have been avoided and only put them 3 points from the playoffs.
So I think they have a chance to reach the playoffs but personally I feel that the teams around them are too tough and I can’t see them dropping points as much as Preston North End, but at the end of the day, the champion is a unpredictable table, so who knows where the top 10 will end up, but I think the play-offs teams will stay where they are by the end of the season.