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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: TOWN V PRESTON

15 January 2016

Dean Gerken is looking forward to another home game as Town look to build on two successive league wins at Portman Road

Dean Gerken is expecting another tough match as Preston North End come to Portman Road, but he believes Town are beginning to turn their home form around.

The Blues have won five of their 13 home league matches so far this season, including the last two against QPR and Leeds, but Gerks knows consistency is key in this division.

“We’re looking forward to another home game and trying to making Portman Road a fortress,” the 'keeper told Ipswich Player HD.

“We’ve got the wins we deserved in our last couple of home matches and doing so regularly stands you in good stead.

“That’s our last two home league games now we’ve come back from a one-goal deficit to get a late winner and obviously we wouldn’t like things to go that way, but we’re still buzzing to get the three points.

“We had a real tough game against Preston in August so they’re no pushovers at all. It’ll be a testing game but we’re looking forward to it and we’re going to have to be at our best to match them.”

Team News

Town

The Blues have no fresh injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s game, although Teddy Bishop and David McGoldrick remain out. Larsen Toure, however, has returned to training, and is making progress which could put him into contention.


Preston

Simon Grayson will be without young midfielder Josh Brownhill for the next month after he joined Barnsley on loan on Thursday. North End have no new injury issues, but Stevie May, Jermaine Beckford and Chris Humphrey remain long-term absentees.

 


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Where they stand

Town – 5th

Preston – 13th

Last time they met

A Ryan Fraser stunner 25 minutes from time gave the Blues all three points at Deepdale back in August. Brett Pitman opened the scoring with a first half header, but Daniel Johnson equalised for the Lilywhites following a rapid breakaway as half-time approached. The young Scotsman sealed the win as he whipped Pitman’s lay-off into the top corner from the edge of the area, keeping Town at the top of the Championship.


Key Players

Cole Skuse

It’s very easy for Skusey to slip under the radar for praise because of the role he plays, but his consistent graft in midfield of late has arguably been as important as a goal or a clean sheet for his side. He has yet to score himself this season so far, though, but he came within an inch of doing so against Leeds on Tuesday. Could Saturday be the day?


Sam Johnstone

The goalkeeper recently joined North End on loan from Manchester United for the second time, having helped his hometown side to promotion last term. Since joining on a 28-day emergency loan, Johnstone has contributed to two consecutive 2-1 victories. He has extremely big shoes to fill having come in to replace the out-going Jordan Pickford who returned to Sunderland after an extremely successful six month loan period, in which he kept 12 clean sheets in 24 matches.

Sky Bet Odds

On the back of a run of five wins in seven league matches, the bookies make the Blues favourites for Saturday’s game and are priced at 19/20 to add to the impressive run of form. Preston are available at 29/10 to pick up the three points with the draw at 12/5.

Match Officials

Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistant Referees: David Avent & Geoffrey Russell
Fourth Official: Oliver Langford


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