Preston North End v Sheffield United Preview

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This will be a blockbuster of a game between two teams that will once again this season be challenging for promotion. Preston have had the stronger start out of the two teams having drawn 2 and won 2, keeping hold of their unbeaten start to the league and keeping them 3rd in the league. However, they did suffer a 3-1 away defeat to Middlesborough in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night even though manager Simon Grayson said afterwards that there performance merited more than the end result.
Sheffield United will be looking to improve on their start to the league campaign having won 2 and lost 2, leaving them in 12th spot in the table. They will be coming to Deepdale on a renewed level of confidence having won on penalties 5-4 away at the Boleyn Ground, home to West Ham, on Tuesday night, also in the cup. Brian Clough was happy with the performance and will be looking to end Preston's unbeaten start to the season come 5pm Saturday afternoon.
In recent history, these two have had some great games, with Stuart Beavon pouncing on a Matt Hill slip in the box to send the Preston fans home across the Pennines happy and with 3 points. In the reverse fixture at Deepdale, game was less exciting as the game ended in a poor 0-0 draw, with Preston more than happy with taking that again tomorrow.

Both teams have been busy in the transfer market. Preston have recruited Kyel Reid, a paced winger from Bradford who isn't scared at running after defenders, but teared his cruciate ligament in January and isn't far from being 100%, still yet to play competitive football for the whites. They've also recruited Jordan Hugill, a striker from Port Vale, who scored on Tuesday Night, Andy Little, a winger from Rangers, Calum Woods, a full back from Huddersfield, and have renewed Paul Gallaghers season long loan from Leicester, who could once again prove pivotal. Theyve also offloaded a few players to even out the budget. John Mousinho, Shane Cansdell Sherriff, Stuart Beavon, and Graham Cummins just a few that have left Deepdale. Once again, the main danger for Shedfield United will be the inform Joe Garner who recently put pen to paper on a new 2 year deal seeing him through to the summer of 2014.
Sheffield United have also made some impressive signings. They have signed Wade Elliot on a free transfer and have also made a big signing in Michael Higdon from NEC NIjmegen. They've also recruited Iain Turner, an ex Preston player himself, renowned for scoring from his own box at Deepdale in 2012 with help from the wind. They have also signed Jay Mcevely, an experienced and well renowned talent at this level and he could be a huge addition this season after the loss of their rock in defence, Harry Maguire, to Hull City in the summer for a fee believed to be around 2.7 million pounds. The loss of height in the box may prove to assist Preston this time around as he caused havoc last year. One person not to be forgotten though is Jose Baxter, the experienced attacking forward that can score goals for fun. If Preston don't keep a close eye on him, they could be in for a long 90 minutes.

It looks like Preston will be playing there tradition 4-2-3-1 formation with Joe Garner being the loan forward, often supported by Gallagher who is given a free role just in front of Brownhilll and Brown to experiment and try to get Preston on the break, I wouldn't be surprised to see an unchanged side to the team who played Oldham last weekend, with the exception of Bailey Wright, who may still be struggling with a groin strain he picked up in the match last Saturday.
Sheffield United on the other hand will be playing a 4-4-2 with Baxter given a predicted attacking role against the full backs. Campbell-Ryce excelled on Tuesday night and is looking to keep his place whereas it looks like an unchanged defence of the Blades as they get used to life without Harry Maguire. McGinn and Collins are two dangerous creative midfielders and need to be kept at bay otherwise Preston could be overrun in midfield.

An expected result for this game would be 1-1 with both teams happy to be taking a point against each other at this stage of the season
 

Saddlerrad

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Nice preview! Think this could be quite well fought game. I also fancy a 1-1 and think the Blades will be tough with defences coming out on top. Still don't have a clue as to why Andy Butler doesn't play for the Blades, but hey! Higdon and Garner with the goals for me.
 

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