Both of these clubs probably won’t be too bothered about the outcome of this fixture, although with that said Preston are in desperate need of whatever money they can find. However, both have serious league ambitions to fulfil, with Preston rock bottom of the league and aiming to escape the drop while Nottingham Forest are peaking and are looking to break into the top six.
Preston’s season has been one big disaster so far and Lilywhites’ supporters must just be wondering where the light at the end of the tunnel is. Many are happy with the progress since the turn of the New Year though, with the unpopular Darren Ferguson being relieved from his duties following the dreadful start. Earlier this week Phil Brown was given the reigns although with the club already seven points adrift at the bottom of the table, there’s no doubting that the former Hull boss has an almighty task on his hands. Brown will probably be relieved that his first game isn’t a league one as he tries to put his own stamp on the club and tries to lift them from the deep slump they find themselves in. They head into this fixture with some really poor form behind them as well, having lost their last three matches.
Nottingham Forest meanwhile are on the rise and Billy Davies’ men now find themselves on the brink on the playoffs in 7th position. They’ve accumulated thirty seven points from their opening games and considering the fact they have at least one game in hand over every team above them, the future is certainly looking brighter at the City Ground. Recent form has been highly promising as well and after collecting ten points from a possible twelve in recent weeks, Forest certainly approach this game with plenty of confidence under their belt.
On the team news front, Preston are really struggling for players after many of their loan signings were recalled by their parent clubs last week. Phil Brown could also be without two further players as Wayne Brown and Leon Cort both struggle with injuries and have to be classed as doubts. It’s mixed news for the visitors who will welcome back Paul McKenna after he recovered from illness. Julian Bennett and Joe Garner are both back in contention after returning to the club following loan deals, while Marcus Tudgay won’t feature as he is ineligible.
Had this been a league game, we would have tipped Nottingham Forest to at least get something here. However, we just can’t see Billy Davies listing this too high up on his priorities and with new Preston boss Phil Brown desperate to make an early impression; we’ll go for a narrow 1-0 victory for the Lilywhites.