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Preview: Preston vs Leicester

Preston North End
vs.
Leicester City

Deepdale

24/04/10

3 p.m.

Leicester will book their place in this season's Championship play-off battle with three points at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon.

The Foxes can secure their place in the top six with a win against the Lilywhites, but could also be assured of their place with a lesser result should scorelines elsewhere turn in their favour.

Standing in their way of victory tomorrow are a Preston side who have proved notoriously difficult to beat over the years for the Foxes.

But a disappointing season for North End has left them in the realms of mid-table mediocrity, a far cry from their usual high standards as play-off hunters in the Championship.

Leicester head into the game on the back of three straight victories, looking for four in a row for the first time this season.

With just one win in their last eight, North End are buoyed only by their impressive nine-match unbeaten run at home.

Darren Ferguson has struggled to spark life into Preston's season since his departure from relegated Peterborough, but should remain focused on securing a top-half finish for his side.

The two sides have already met twice this season, Preston running out as winners on both occassions.

Neil Mellor and Richard Chaplow's strikes were enough to sink City 2-1 at the Walkers back in September, whilst two goals from Chris Brown dispatched the Foxes by the same scoreline in their early-season Carling Cup fixture at Deepdale.

Vital Quotes:

Leicester left back Bruno Berner: 'With three consecutive victories we are looking forward to the match. We just need to keep our concentration.

We are very focused, and we are just going up there looking for another win.'

Preston North End Team News:

Midfielder Paul Coutts is definitely sidelined after undergoing surgery on both groin and hip injuries.

Former Leicester trialist Youl Mawene returns to the squad after his compassionate leave, but Liam Chilvers is doubtful.

Player to watch: John Parkin

The beast has found the net 13 times in all competitions so far this season, and comfortably takes his place as Preston's most potent goal threat.

The powerful striker has enjoyed a successful year after much ridicule in recent seasons, and appears to have found his feet well at Deepdale.

Leicester City Team News:

Striker Steve Howard sits out the first game of his suspension after seeing red in last weekend's victory over Watford, so James Vaughan is expected to see his first start in a City shirt.

Player to watch: Richie Wellens

Wellens has re-discovered his early-season form to set himself up as Leicester's kingpin in the middle of the park.

The money paid for the former-Doncaster man in the summer looks to have been cash well spent.

Match Facts & Stats

- Only Peterborough and Scunthorpe have conceded more goals than Preston.

- Leicester have only 11 goal-scorers to their name this season, the lowest number in the division.

- Preston are going in search of their fourth consecutive victory over City.

- North End have comfortably been much betterat home this year, claiming an average of 1.68 points per game at Deepdale.

Match Prediction:

We rarely do well against Preston, but I think we'll grab a draw here to put it all down to the final day of the season. Preston 1-1 Leicester

Next Fixtures:

Sunday 2nd May:

Preston: Reading (A)

Leicester: Middlesbrough (H)


Writer:JBFox
Date:Friday April 23 2010
Time: 9:15PM

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