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Preston North End v Aston Villa


Click here for live text coverage on Wednesday 19:15-22:00 GMTPreston North End are without suspended skipper Paul Huntington for the visit of fellow Championship promotion hopefuls Aston Villa.Huntington’s absence leaves North End short in defence, with Ben Davies (appendix operation), Tommy Spurr, Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham already out.Villa left-back Neil Taylor is free to return after a three-game suspension.

But Jonathan Kodja is doubtful after sustaining an ankle injury in Sunday’s derby draw with Birmingham City.Villa issued a club statement on Tuesday saying that “the early prognosis is encouraging”, they are “in close communication” with their consultant and that he will continue to be assessed by the club’s medical team.Young striker Keinan Davis is a likely replacement, while midfielder Mile Jedinak, also a second-half substitute on Sunday, had a solidifying effect at St Andrew’s in his comeback game following a groin problem.Henri Lansbury (knee) and Jack Grealish (kidney) played for Villa’s Under-23 side on Monday as they progress towards a first-team return, but Gabby Agbonlahor remains sidelined with a torn calf.Match factsIn their first league encounters with fellow Football League founder members Villa since the 1973-74 season, Preston did not lose either game last season.Their 2-0 home win on 1 October proved to be in the final Villa game in charge for Roberto di Matteo. PNE then came from two down to draw 2-2 at Villa Park in January.Steve Bruce has lost all three managerial visits to Deepdale 1-0 – twice with Birmingham City (in March 2002 and May 2007) and Hull City (in December 2015).Villa have won one of their last 15 away league games in the month of November.Villa have won 23 points from their opening 14 matches – their best start to a league season since 2008/09, when they picked up 24 points from their first 14 Premier League games.Scott Hogan scored his only Football League hat-trick against Preston 13 months ago, playing for Brentford. But he has now failed to net in 818 Championship minutes, having not scored, other than three in this season’s EFL Cup, since the 2-0 win at Wigan on 18 March.
Source: BBC Lancashire