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MATCH PREVIEW

PUBLISHED
16:48 24th April 2014

Preston v Gillingham

We look ahead to Saturday's game

PRESTON V GILLINGHAM
Deepdale
Sky Bet League One
Saturday April 26
Kick-Off, 3pm

Team News:

Danny Kedwell will not travel to Preston on Saturday after suffering light swelling on his knee. Peter Taylor says the injury is not serious, and leaving him out is merely a precaution to prevent further issues.

Aaron Millbank will travel with the first team to Deepdale and potentially could make his debut for the club.

Matt Fish is the club’s only other injury concern; he is unlikely to make an appearance at Preston but could be in line to play a small part against Shrewsbury.

As for Preston, Manager Simon Grayson is expected to have Tom Clarke available for selection.

Keith Keane and Scott Wiseman, who could replace Clarke at right-back if he doesn't make the trip, are also in contention.

Joe Garner played the last half hour of the same game and he will also be pushing for a start.

Manager Comments:

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Despite the fact Gills should now be safe in League One; Peter Taylor is refusing to take anything for granted until their status is mathematically confirmed.

He is hoping his players go to Deepdale with the same attitude that got them a point at Walsall.

Speaking to the club’s official website he said: “They will be playing their strongest team and going for it and we need to be ready for that.

“It’s a great place to go and play a good atmosphere and Simon has done a brilliant job there.”

Simon Grayson told Preston’s website: “We have set ourselves high targets and put in good performances, in the last home games especially, and we want to continue that against Gillingham.

“It is another tough game, but it is also the last home league game of the season and you always want to finish in a positive manner, especially ahead of the Play-Offs.”

Preston
The Gaffer – Simon Grayson

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Simon began his playing career at Leeds United in 1988 before joining Leicester City four years later having made just two appearances while at Elland Road.

His tenure at City would be more successful with the right-back featuring in 188 league games. Spells at Aston Villa and Blackburn followed before joining Blackpool in 2002, and would round off his playing career at Bloomfield Road as he became manager of the seaside club.

He guided the team to the Championship in the 06/07 season before joining Leeds in 2008. Again he would win promotion to the second tier at the end of the 09/10 campaign, but was sacked in February 2012.

Huddersfield appointed him just a few weeks later, and for the third time guided a club to the Championship, but was sacked in November last year after a run of poor results.

He took over at Preston in early 2013, guiding the club to safety in League One before launching a promotion challenge this season.

The Skipper – John Welsh

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John came through the youth ranks at Liverpool, playing for their reserve side on a number of occasions but did make four appearances for the senior side prior to a loan spell at Hull, which was made permanent in the summer of 2006.

However he would only make 30 league appearances while at the KC Stadium, mainly due to the fact he broke his leg in March 2007 which ruled him out for months.

Loan spells at Chester, Carlisle and Bury followed before signing a permanent deal with Tranmere in 2009. He spent three years at the club before joining Preston in the summer of 2012.

One to Watch – Joe Garner

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Garner has been instrumental to Preston’s promotion aspriations, having scored 23 goals in all competitions so far this season.

Joe began his career at Blackburn Rovers but failed to force his way in to the first team, sparking a loan move to Carlisle before making the move permanent in the summer of 2007.

An impressive season up north raised the eyebrows of Nottingham Forest and he joined them the following year for over a million pounds.

However on the arrival of Billy Davies he was unable to hold down a regular place and ventured out on loan to Huddersfield and Scunthorpe before joining Watford in August 2011.

A further stint at Carlisle followed after a loan deal was agreed prior to signing for Preston last summer.

Preston – the season so far

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Preston have held a position in the play-offs for the majority of the season, and all that is left to decide is who they will play and whether they will have home advantage in the second leg.

They started the season brilliantly, losing just two of their first 19 league matches. However despite the fact they have only been defeated six times all season, they have drawn 17 matches which has seen them fall just short of an automatic promotion position.

In the cups they were eliminated by Burnley 2-0 in the first round of the Capital One Cup, they were beaten by Oldham by the same scoreline at the first hurdle in the JPT.

And in the FA Cup they got as far as the fourth round, losing to Nottingham Forest in a replay.

Previous Meetings:

The last time the two clubs met was in October last year, Peter Taylor’s first game in his second spell as Manager, with Preston running out 2-1 winners at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Keith Keane and Josh Brownhill got the goals for the visitors, with Danny Kedwell grabbing what proved to be a consolation.

In total the two clubs have met on 52 occasions, of those Gills have won 15, North End have won 16 and the other 21 games have resulted in a draw.

Betting:

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Cody McDonald has scored twice in his last two games, and for him to score first at Deepdale you can get odds of 7/1.

Bradley Dack has also been on the score sheet a couple of times recently, and for him to score at any stage during the game Sky Bet are pricing him at 11/2.

For a 2-2 draw with Bayo Akinfenwa to grab the opener, you can get odds of 105/1.

For more great odds and other markets, visit www.skybet.com and register an account now.

Officials:

Referee - Charles Breakspear
Assistant Referee 1 - Jonathan Hunt
Assistant Referee 2 - Jason Tyas
Fourth Official - Mick Russell

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