By Kevin Butler
Preston North End host Bolton Wanderers Friday night at Deepdale. The visitors, unbeaten in their last 5 games lifted themselves off the bottom of the Championship with a 2-1 victory over Norwich before the international break.
Preston, have not won in six matches, drawing twice in the span. A win would momentarily lift the Lillywhite’s over Nottingham Forest and move into 7th on goal difference with a victory. Speaking to the BBC after their 3-0 loss to Ipswich Alex Neill expressed his injury concerns “We have a smallish squad and now have nine players missing through injury, and we are being stretched to the limit”.
The Wanderers find themselves sitting second bottom with concerns of their own; top scorer and talisman Gary Madine was arrested this week in connection to an alleged pub brawl leaving the victim in hospital. The forward was jailed for 18 months in 2013 for a similar offence when he was at fellow championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
Following the 2-1 victory over Norwich, Bolton manager Phil Parkinson expressed his delight to the BBC at his sides change of fortune, “9 points from our last 5 games is a great return, but we knew this games would make our recent run a decent one or an average one”.
- The two sides have only met twice previously, with Preston victorious in a 2-1 away win at Carrow Road, the other a goalless draw at Deepdale.
- This will be Alex Neil’s first time in charge of a competitive derby.
- Preston North end have kept only one clean sheet in their last 9 games.
- Bolton are yet to win any of their 8 away games so far this season.
- Before going 5 games unbeaten Bolton had lost their previous 8 fixtures.