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Since Ryan Lowe was appointed Preston manager in December, only Huddersfield Town have picked up more points in the Championship (21) than the Lilywhites (20).
The Lancashire outfit have lost just once in 11 league games under former Plymouth boss Lowe and now have ambitions of finishing in the top six.
Cameron Archer scored the only goal of the game as Preston beat Peterborough United 1-0 last weekend, which was their fourth successive clean sheet.
The Lilywhites have lost just twice in the league at Deepdale this season, but have won only once in their last seven matches on home turf – they have drawn the last four.
With their next three matches all against teams in the top half, Lowe’s side will be eager to keep their momentum going as they enter a crucial period of the campaign.
The clean sheet was their first since mid-October, but the Berkshire outfit remain the joint-worst defensive side in the league having conceded 60 goals this season.
Veljko Paunovic‘s future remains severely in doubt and his side have won just two of their last 20 matches in all competitions.
However, Reading have won six of their last eight games against Preston and claimed a 2-1 victory over the Lilywhites earlier this season.
Josh Murphy is back in training for Preston but this weekend’s game will come too soon for the Cardiff City loanee to feature.
Greg Cunningham, Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen all remain sidelined but should also be in contention to return in the next few weeks.
Cameron Archer has scored three goals in six games since signing on loan from Aston Villa, but he is yet to find the net at Deepdale.
Junior Hoilett is eligible again for Reading after being suspended for the goalless draw against Peterborough.
Veljko Paunovic hopes to also have Josh Laurent back available after the midfielder missed the midweek game because of an ankle problem.
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Yakou Meite made his first start of the season against Posh after returning from a serious knee injury, but he could drop to the bench due to such a quick turnaround.
Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Hughes, Bauer, van den Berg; Potts, Johnson, Whiteman, Earl; Browne; Riis, Archer
Reading possible starting lineup:
Hein; Yiadom, Morrison, Holmes, Rahman; Rinomhota, Laurent; Ince, Swift, Hoilett; Joao