Preview: Preston vs Leicester
Leicester head to struggling Preston on Saturday afternoon hoping to record their third league victory in a row.
The Foxes claimed a battling draw at home to Manchester City in the FA Cup last weekend, and will look to carry their useful form to pile more misery on rock bottom Preston.
The Lilywhites are currently seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table, and have won only one of their last 12 matches in all competitions.
Darren Ferguson was dismissed from his post in late December, and former Hull boss Phil Brown appointed in his place just over a week ago.
Brown got off to a losing start in the FA Cup last weekend as Nottingham Forest secured their passage through to the next round with a late goal to seal a 2-1 victory at Deepdale.
But Brown begins a fresh slate in the Championship for the troubled Lancashire outfit, and will be desperate to get one over on Foxes chief Sven-Goran Eriksson in his first league match in charge.
Both managers were busy in the transfer market this week, as Eriksson pulled off the surprise coup of Everton striker Yakubu on loan until the end of the season.
Meawhile, Brown added former Wigan striker Nathan Ellington to the Preston ranks.
Leicester ran out 1-0 winners at the Walkers Stadium back in October, with Paul Gallagher's solitary strike sealing all three points for City.
It was a similar tale in this fixture at Deepdale last season as the Foxes secured a play-off place with an Andy King goal.
Leicester striker Yakubu: "My fitness is really good. I just haven't had a lot of game time. I hope I get more time to play to help the team. I am ready to go now.
"I am ready for Preston, if selected. I have a good record against Preston and I hope that continues on Saturday."
Preston striker Nathan Ellington: "It's great, it's like home for me really and it's a great feeling to be home playing for a club like Preston. It was a great experience to leave the country, I have never lived away from England and go to somewhere which is completely alien to me.
"It was great to be out there in the warmth for the most of the year in Greece but I'm happy to be back."
Preston North End Team News:
Preston welcome new signings Nathan Ellington and Blackburn loanee Amine Linganzi into the squad.
Former Foxes Iain Hume, Callum Davidson and Wayne Brown are all hoping to shake off knocks.
Meanwhile midfielder Paul Parry has returned to training following a broken wrist.
Player to watch: Nathan Ellington
The key departure of Jon Parkin has left a significant void to fill in the Preston side, and the man they call 'The Duke' looks to be the man chosen for the task.
Parkin departed for Cardiff at the beginning of the month, having bagged seven times for the Lilywhites this campaign.
But Ellington, fresh from a spell with Greek side Skoda Xanthi, will be determined to show he is the same player Watford parted with just over £3 million for three years ago.
Leicester City Team News:
Darius Vassell looks set to miss out with a hamstring injury, paving the way for new signing Yakubu to lead the line on his Foxes debut.
Manchester City loanee Ben Mee is waiting in the wings for a start, but looks set to miss out to Bruno Berner at left-back.
Player to watch: Yakubu
Who else? After months of trying to attract a big name to the Walkers Stadium, Eriksson finally landed his man officially yesterday.
The Nigeria international brings a wealth of experience to the table for the Foxes, and when on his game, should prove to be one of the finest strikers the division has to offer.
Paul Gallagher and Lloyd Dyer will be trying to feed the Yak - question is, will he score?
Match Facts & Stats
- Iain Hume (05-08), Callum Davidson (00-04) and Wayne Brown (09-10) could all face their former side tomorrow.
- Preston have conceded an alarming 45 goals in the Championship this season, the worst in the division.
- They have taken just 6 points from their last 12 games.
- The Lilywhites have dropped a worrying 21 points from winning positions.
- Leicester have the third best second-half record in the division.
- Leicester have won only two of their last seven clashes at Deepdale post-millenium.
First Championship match of the season.
A Leicester side in good form with the Yak up front against a struggling side. I'm confident. Preston 0-2 Leicester.
Tuesday 18th January:
Manchester City (A)
FA Cup third round replay