Preston North End welcome Bristol City to Deepdale on Saturday afternoon looking to build on their excellent win at West Bromwich Albion earlier this week.
However, just three points separate these two teams in the Championship standings, leaving Bristol City with a chance to move towards the mid-table positions.
Having won his opening two matches in charge of Preston, recently-appointed boss Ryan Lowe would not have envisaged the subsequent four-game period without success.
However, after witnessing his team succumb to a 1-0 defeat to Swansea City in South Wales, North End produced one of their best performances of the season to see off promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion on away territory.
Lowe’ side were full value for their 2-0 victory at The Hawthorns, Emil Riis Jakobsen’s 10th goal of the season being followed by a debut effort from Aston Villa loanee Cameron Archer.
Although they sit down in 13th position and remain eight points adrift of the playoffs, there is a feeling that a couple more shrewd additions could help Preston launch an unlikely promotion bid.
That said, their form at Deepdale must improve over the coming months, with their current four-game unbeaten run featuring three draws.
Bristol City’s Chris Martin celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 22, 2022© Reuters
Bristol City have been at their erratic best over the last two games, a thrilling 3-2 victory over Cardiff City being followed by defeat at Luton Town three days later.
Despite the jubilation which occurred after beating the Bluebirds, the Robins now have the third worst defensive record in the division, a consequence of conceding 18 goals in their last seven league games.
Although they have accumulated six points from as many fixtures, four defeats have also been recorded during that period, and Nigel Pearson can ill-afford a similar run against sides in the bottom half of the table.
On a positive note, Andreas Weimann has netted seven times in just six league games, taking his tally to 14 for the campaign.