Preston North End vs. Forest preview..

Ah, a trip to Deepdale – where the pies apparently are lovely, so I’m looking forward to that at least (if Jon Parkin and Neil Mellor are advocates, they’re clearly hard to resist!).  Billy takes his new charges to his old club and will be keen to get Forest’s away results back on the rails.  We’ve had a dreadful run of away results, and any furtherance of this will start to damage our automatic promotion credentials.

Our hosts are unbeaten in their last three games – and will still harbour a possibly optimistic hope of putting together a run to find themselves in the playoffs.  They’re eight points adrift at the moment.  Earlier in the season we despatched the Lilywhites 3-0 at home, with their former skipper Paul McKenna opening the scoring with a lovely long range goal, Adebola and McGugan scoring the remaining two goals.

Certainly the first part of that won’t be repeated – McKenna is unavailable due to his knee injury, but aside from this not insignificant selection poser, the Reds are in good shape – with Robbie Earnshaw and former Preston-defender Kelvin Wilson both likely to return to the squad after missing the Swansea match with an achilles niggle and ankle injury respectively.  So that’s good news.

The most significant injury news for our hosts is the availability or otherwise of Danny Welbeck, the Manchester United loanee.  Folks had commented it might be nepotism driving Sir Alex to furnish his son with such a talented loanee, but let’s not forget that Preston have a history of giving United’s youngsters game time – none other than David Beckham cut his teeth there for a month!

On the official Forest site their preview speaks of Darren Ferguson’s confidence in Welbeck being available – but subsequent news stories suggest the youngster has had some kind of reaction to his injury which will rule him out.  Whilst that’s unfortunate for the lad himself, that’s not bad news from our point of view – by all accounts he’s been a fine addition to their squad.  That’s not to say he’s all they have to offer.

The Forest defence can expect a physical battle with Neil Mellor up front, and possibly Jon ‘Beast’ Parkin – surely the heaviest forward line combination since Dean Windass and, well, anyone really!  Despite that, both know where the net is so the Reds will need to stay sharp at the back, as well as getting sharp up front on the road.  Boy could we do with resurrecting our away form, particularly with Tuesday’s trip to Barnsley following quickly.

I’m not sure whether I expect to see Billy go for the ‘attack formation’ we usually see at home – with Earnie available after sitting out the home game last week it might make him change his emphasis – but then that would leave us with the Moose (or maybe Cohen if Perch is put back in at left back, or maybe McGugan) to hold midfield with the more mercurial Majewski alongside them.  So he might be tempted to go with a safer midfield and keep Earnie on the bench.

Tough call, I’m glad I don’t have to make it!  I am looking forward to the pies, though, and possibly a wander around the National Football Museum if I can wend my way up to Lancashire in time.

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12 Responses

  1. Many fans had been saying for weeks that McKenna looks like he needs a rest and I bet that Billy now wishes he had done that.

    I expect the team to be Camp in goal, back 4 of Gunter, Cohen, Wes and Kelvin. 5 in midfield – Ando, Moussi, Raddy, Lewis, Boyd. (The other option would be to bring in Perch in a defensive midfield role although am not sure Billy will do that). Dex on his own up front.

    • I was mooting Perch in midfield too. I think the Preston fans will be looking for their team to have a go at this one which might play right in to our hands.

  2. I happen to think that Perchio could do a good job for us in the ‘holding’ position. He’s a better player than many of our supporters think.
    Both he and Chambo have come in for some undeserved stick lately. I just wish our fans would ALL get behind whoever dons the red shirt.

    How times have changed, eh nffc. Couple of years ago the team would have picked itself, nowadays we’re wondering whether our Welsh international will start!

  3. Oops, sorry Gunts…”one” of our internationals!

  4. i think we can expect big changes for tomorrow, i reckon Bd will start with either Adebola or McGoldrick up front for a bit of steel.

    Midfield of 5, Moussi, Cohen, Raddy with Boyd and either Anderson or Mc Gugan. BD seems to drop and pick the last two at random so i cant decide which will play, although i’m always pleased to see Ando start.

    Back four will be usual suspects with Perch tucked in at left back, Perchio has to start somewhere tomorrow and i think BD will play Cohen in midfield to make up for McKenna not playing.

    Fancy us tomorrow for some reason, important the fans get behind the players though, not of the nonsense we had at donny or i’ll be banging heads together!

  5. Unusual experience for me tomorrow as I’ve been invited to the match by a business friend, so I might not get to sample one of “Parkin’s Pies”.

    Do go to the National Football Museum if you get chance – it is a fantastic place to visit as a football fan and due to finances, is being closed soon before being relocated to central Manchester, which means that it won’t be as accessible.

    I’m really hoping for 6 points from our next two games, which I think would put the Baggies under real pressure!!

  6. Sheep’s Gadsby interview @ 2:50, admits to giving away 7,000 to 10,000 tickets per game

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/derby/hi/tv_and_radio/newsid_8563000/8563938.stm

    heheheh

  7. absolute garbage …and can somebody tell me why david mcgoldrick continues to pull the famous garibaldi red shirt on????????????

  8. Are we bottling it? Getting a bit nervous? Is it a coincidence that in most of the games that Chambers has started this season we’ve conceded 3 or more goals? Is that a little unfair? Whatever the reason, squeaky bum time seems to of hit this squad a little bit earlier than the rest of the promotion hopefuls.

    Its been obvious to everybody including Management/Board that left back has been our Achilles heal this season. Demonstrated convincingly when we had Shorey in the side, we were just so much better. But for some reason we have not been able to get one in on a long term deal. This will probably cost us automatic and maybe even play offs ‘cos I can’t see this team dealing with the pressure of a playoff final.

    Still, I’m finding it hard to complain. We are 3rd in the league, its been one of the best seasons of the last 10 years and we have finally a manager that knows a bit about what it takes. West Brom have a more difficult fixture list (on paper) for the next 4 games than we do but we’ve got to win at Barnsley otherwise we might as well kiss any hope of 2nd goodbye.

    • VERY unfair today since Chambers was only introduced at half time, after which we didn’t concede any!

      More later, only just got in..,

  9. I have lots of thoughts about today’s games which I would put under the heading: “McGugan and Chambers – a game of two halves”. But I will await nffc’s usual excellent match report (no pressure there) and add them to that.

    Overall, probably more positives than negatives!

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