We look ahead to Saturday's clash at Priestfield
GILLINGHAM V PRESTON NORTH END
Sky Bet League One
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Saturday October 19
Peter Taylor has a couple of fitness concerns ahead of this weekend's visit of Preston.
Michael Harriman (calf) has been training well this week but is only rated 50/50 to return at right-back, while Myles Weston (illness) is also doubtful after feeling under the weather for most of the week.
As for Preston, Jack King is likely to be the club’s only absentee as he is suffering with a broken foot. Will Hayhurst and Iain Hume will return after spending the week on International duty.
In his pre-match press conference Taylor said he was familiar with some of the players he will be up against, but is more concerned by how his own side play.
He said: “I said the other day I had signed three of the Preston players previously (Stuart Beavon, John Mousinho and Scott Laird) but I forgot Kevin Davies.
“Kevin I had at U-21 level, he has had a tremendous career. For clubs like Preston to be in League One shows just how tough this league is, they are a big club and they have some great players.
“Preston have just had a couple of defeats, when they first started I know Simon was over the moon with their start, so this is why they may be more dangerous after a defeat.
“Some of their players played at the top level, Beavon is someone I signed from non-league, and he is a very clever player.
“We know the strengths that they have got but I am really looking for us to concentrate on ourselves on the ball and what we can do.”
Preston boss Simon Grayson has had to re-think his strategy over the last seven days, and joked that his scouting reports would go in the bin following recent events.
He said: “I’ll have to rip up the scouting reports and put them in the bin. It is one of those situations that happen in football. I was surprised last Sunday when I heard Martin had been sacked, but that’s the nature of the business.
“It is a new era for Peter Taylor. It will be a contrasting style of play, but how quickly Peter can implement his own ideas on the group, time will tell.
“We know enough about the individuals Gillingham can select from and what they have done previously, so we will do our work, but we will be aware that it will be slightly different to Martin Allen’s way of playing.”
Preston – the season so far
Grayson’s side started the season incredibly well, losing just once in their opening 11 fixtures in all competitions – that coming in the second round of the Capital One Cup after a 2-0 loss at Burnley.
However since the turn of the month the Lilywhites have lost all three of their games, and suffered a surprising 2-0 defeat at home to Crewe last Saturday.
They were also knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on October 8 with Oldham inflicting another 2-0 loss.
The Gaffer – Simon Grayson
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 early this year, and guided the club to safety in League One.
Star Man – Kevin Davies
The former England International signed on a free transfer in the summer following his release from Bolton Wanderers, and signed a two-year contract at Deepdale.
His strong physical presence and natural aerial ability makes him a threat to any defence in the division, and will certainly be important in their attempts to gain a result at Priestfield.
One to Watch– Stuart Beavon
Fellow striker Beavon is just as powerful inside the box, and although has only scored two goals this season, is a clinical finisher who is strong in all departments.
Alongside Davies the pair are guaranteed to create chances, and Peter Taylor will know what he is capable of having signed the striker earlier in his career.
The 29-year-old signed for the Lilywhites last summer from Wycombe Wanderers.
following goals from Jeffrey Monakana and Stuart Beavon.Gills suffered a 2-0 loss at DeepdaleThe last time the two teams met was last December in the second round of the FA Cup when the
In total the clubs have clashed on no less than 51 occasions. Neither side can be separated on the head to head statistics with 15 wins apiece, with the other 21 fixtures resulting in a draw.
Gills win 1-0 – 9/1
Gills win 2-0 – 16/1
Gills win 2-1 – 10/1
Draw 0-0 – 12/1
Draw 1-1 – 11/2
Draw 2-2 – 12/1
Preston win 1-0 – 7/1
www.skybet.com/gillinghamFor more markets and to sign up to Sky Bet's leading free bets club, visit
*odds correct at time of writing
Referee –Graham Horwood
Assistants – Nicholas Kinseley & Gavin Muge
Fourth Official – Richard Kendall