The Big Match Preview vs Preston

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It’s Deepdale on Wednesday night for a tougher than we’d really like challenge in the Carling Cup third round. Preston have started the season well with only one defeat in their 10 games so far. Morecambe and Leicester were despatched in the earlier rounds of this competition, part of a run of 5 successive home wins.

The Lilywhites (them not us) don’t have that many familiar names in their squad, Neil Mellor deserves a cheer though, a highlight of his brief Liverpool career being a last minute winner against the gooners a few years back. Other than that, Chaplow was at Burnley, Davidson at Blackburn and Carter at Birmingham and I’m struggling to recognise anyone else – which doesn’t mean they’re not good enough to dump us on our collective arses of course.

Our last meeting with Preston was also in the League Cup, Darren Anderton scored in the 1-1 draw in Lancashire and also in the 3-0 home win in the second leg. I’d have spent a lot of time trying to guess our two goal hero in that return game – step forward Rory Allen – the last striker to come through from the youth team maybe?

Redknapp has promised changes so no doubt Pavlyuchenko, Giovani, Bentley, Crouch, Naughton et al will all get run outs. The game may have come at a good time for Michael Dawson. He is on the verge of being fit for purpose and some playing time here will help him get ready for Burnley at the weekend where he’ll be desperately needed.

It’ll be a tough game, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that and we’ll have to work hard to win it. Still, it’s a chance for those on the edge of the squad to force their way towards the centre and, given the current injury rate, maybe into Harry’s first team thoughts over the coming weeks. Should be a good night.

By MF

What do you think the score will be?

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