WATFORD END the 2010/11 campaign with a trip to already-relegated Preston.
The Lilywhites currently reside in 24th place but with a win could give themselves some cheer and move off bottom. Watford on the other hand could finish 11th which would represent a massive over-achievement for the campaign.
For Preston, the fightback has come too late. Though Phil Brown suffered a slow start to life in Lancashire, PNE eventually got going under the former Hull City man but failed in their attempt to avoid relegation.
‘We lose television funding from the Football League which means a loss of over £2m. We also lose a big payment from the Premier League which comes from their solidarity fund, which is used to assist mainly Championship clubs. Although we will receive a small grant we still forfeit around £2m. That is a total reduction of our income of around £4m.’
Source: PNE Official Site
Preston North End Team News:
Scottish midfield Paul Coutts (groin) is out as he goes under the knife. Veteran midfielder Ian Ashbee is recovering from a shoulder injury.
Defensive trio Sean St. Ledger, Leon Cort and David Gray are also all out.
Finally Striker Chris Brown (back) is rated as ‘doubtful’ following a long-term problem. Hornet’s forward Nathan Ellington is ineligible but Iain Hume is expected to return.
Line-up Vs. Ipswich: Turner; Jones, Morgan, Devine, Leather; Mayor, Nicholson, Coutts, Barton, Treacy; Brown.
Player to watch: Keith Treacy
Flying Irish winger has impressed this season despite his sides lowly standing in the Championship.
Signed following a loan spell at Sheffield United ahaving arrived from Blackburn Rovers where he failed to make the grade with just two starts for the Lancashire side.
Nine goals in 42 league and cup starts this campaign.
Watford Team News:
Striker Andi Weimann, Ross Jenkins and Stephen McGinn are all out whilst Dale Bennett, Martin Taylor and Marvin Sordell are all ‘doubtful’.
With all this in mind, four academy graduates have travelled as part of the matchday squad – Gavin Massey, Sean Murray, Britt Assombalonga and Tommy Hoban.
A fact cheekily pinched from the official site is that Hoban will become the 21st home-grown Hornet to play this season, should he feature.
Likely line-up: Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Taylor, Doyley; Deeney, Eustace (c), Cowie, Buckley; Graham and Sordell.
Player to watch: Troy Deeney
The striker has been a regular in the first-team for the past few weeks down the right-hand side and despite not being played in his natural position, has impressed.
It’s been a slow start to life at Vicarage Road for Deeney but he might get a shot up front if Marvin Sordell and Andi Weimann don’t make it.
Match Facts & Stats
PNE Home Form: Won Vs. Swansea, Won Vs. Sheff Utd and Lost Vs. Cardiff.
Head2Head Form: Watford 2-0 PNE, PNE 1-1 Watford (09/10)and Watford 2-2 PNE (10/11)
Watford Away Form: Lost @ Coventry, Drew @ Leeds and Lost @ Leicester.
Referee: Mr F GRAHAM
Assistants: Mr P Bankes & Mr S Stockbridge
Fourth Official: Mr K Mattocks
Hornet’s win – PNE are playing without confidence and Watford will want to finish on a high and hopefully, in the top half.
PNE: 7/4 (Victor Chandler)
Draw: 13/5 (Victor Chandler)
Watford: 7/4 (BetFred)