Date: 9th January 2015 at 2:49pm
Written by:

Preston travel to Sheffield to take on the Blades on Saturday and Simon Grayson’s men will be looking for a victory that will help to bury the memories of the defeat to Walsall in midweek.

United go into the game after knocking Queens Park Rangers out of the FA Cup 3-0 at Loftus Road, but their last six league games have produced no wins and just four points and the last time out in the league they lost 2-1 to Port Vale.

Last season Preston managed a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane while at Deepdale the two sides drew 0-0. That 1-0 victory would go down rather well on Saturday.

Vital Quotes:

Simon Grayson ‘I think every manager and every player will say the same, they want to get back out there and put right a wrong situation, so it’s a great opportunity and there’s no bigger games in this division that Preston against Sheffield United and a good Yorkshire-Lancashire derby.

‘We know we’re in for a tough game, going to Bramall Lane is never an easy place to go but we proved last year that we could put on a real good performance and get the victory and hopefully that will be the case this weekend. It will be a tough task for us but hopefully it’s an opportunity to get quickly back on it and try and get another three points after a disappointing result on Wednesday night.’

Sheffield United Team News:

Sheffield United duo Jamie Murphy and Marc McNulty will feature against Preston after overcoming illness.

Murphy was restricted to a 10-minute cameo from the bench in the Blades’ impressive FA Cup win over QPR last Sunday while McNulty had to leave the pitch in the second half, but both are now fully recovered.

Chris Basham is in the middle of a three-match ban so will not feature, but James Wallace will be in the matchday squad again.

Ben Davies (foot) is not ready while boss Nigel Clough is unlikely to risk Craig Alcock (back) despite a return to training.

Player to watch: Jamal Campbell-Ryce

Three goals in the last two games says he may be hitting a bit of form.

Preston Team News:

Jermaine Beckford will be assessed before the game.

The on-loan Bolton striker came off in the 2-0 loss to Walsall on Wednesday night, complaining of a tight hamstring, but manager Simon Grayson hoped that was more of a precaution.

Grayson made seven midweek changes from the side which beat Norwich in the FA Cup and the likes of David Buchanan and Bailey Wright will hope to be recalled in the North End defence.

Player to watch: Paul Gallagher

Put in some good performances over the last few games.

Match Facts & Stats

Sheff Utd have won 50%, drawn 30% and lost 20% of their last 20 home games.

In their last 20 home games against teams positioned in the top half of the table, Sheff Utd have won 6, drawn 8 and lost 6 of these matches.

In their last 20 home games against teams positioned above them in the table, Sheff Utd have won 4, drawn 10 and lost 6 of these matches.

Preston have won 45%, drawn 25% and lost 30% of their last 20 away games.

In their last 20 away games against teams positioned in the top half of the table, Preston have won 6, drawn 5 and lost 9 of these matches.

In their last 20 away games against teams positioned below them in the table, Preston have won 9, drawn 6 and lost 5 of these matches.

Ref Watch:

The referee for this weekend’s game with Sheffield United is Pat Miller of Bedfordshire.

Its been a long time since Miller took charge of a Preston game, you have to go back to 2009 when he was in charge of the game between Southampton and Preston in the Championship.

The trip ended in Preston losing the game 3-1 and just one yellow card was shown, that went to Jason Euell.

This season Miller has been in charge of 16 games so far, in that time he has shown 37 yellow cards and one red.

The assistant referees on Saturday will be Mark Duncan and Mark Wayne Grunnill.

The Fourth Official will be Danny Gratton.

Match Prediction:

2-2 draw

Next Fixtures:

Fri 16 Jan 2015
Preston v Leyton Orient