Preston North End can lay play-off ghost to rest at Wembley

Back Preston to reach Championship in normal time

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Betting Tip: Preston @ 23/20 with williamhill

Preston have not had an enjoyable experience in the play-offs, having lost finals in 1994, 2001 and 2005. However, they have a chance to end their hoodoo on Sunday when tackling Swindon Town at Wembley.

Simon Grayson’s side would have been promoted automatically if they had won at Colchester in the final game of the regular season, although a 1-0 defeat meant a play-off place and PNE were too strong for Chesterfield, claiming a 4-0 aggregate success against the Spireites.

Preston now face a Swindon side who have also been in the top six all season, with Town having beaten Sheffield United in dramatic fashion to reach Wembley.

Mark Cooper’s team won 2-1 at Bramall Lane before racing into a 3-0 lead at the County Ground which meant the tie looked dead and buried. However, a Blades comeback led to a 5-5 scoreline and will leave the manager wondering if his defence can stand up to Preston’s dangerous attack.

Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford can score goals at Championship level, let alone League One, and both players are in great form for this showdown where a place in the English second flight is at stake.

We originally tipped Preston to win the play-offs and won’t deviate from the fact that North End were the third-best team in League One this term and were unlucky to be picked off by an MK Dons team who got on a winning run to overhaul the Lancashire side.

Betting Tip: Preston @ 23/20 with williamhill

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