Preston NE v Stevenage preview

James Dunne. Photo: Harry Hubbard

James Dunne. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Boro hope for joy on the road as they travel to take on the Lilywhites

Preston North End v Stevenage preview

Stevenage travel to Preston North End this weekend hoping to make it back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since October 23.

Boro beat promotion hopefuls Brentford at the Lamex Stadium on Tuesday evening thanks to Marcus Haber’s second-half strike, and they face a team this weekend that have not lost in three matches since former Stevenage manager Graham Westley left the club last month.

In charge now is Simon Grayson, and this will be the former Leeds United and Huddersfield Town manager’s first home game in charge of the Lilywhites.


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This will also be David Gray’s first return to Deepdale as a player since leaving Preston for Boro in the summer.

Last time they met:

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Boro were on the receiving end of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Preston in November.

Stuart Beavon, North End’s joint top scorer this season, opened the scoring before Greg Tansey pulled Stevenage level. The Lilywhites, however, went on to score three more times with Jack King, Jeffrey Monakana and Nicky Wroe all finding the net.

Teams that day

Stevenage: Arnold, Gray, Roberts, N’Gala, Charles, Dunne, Grant, Tansey (Agyemang 60), Morais (Freeman 67), Akins, Haber (Shroot 78). Subs: Day, Hills, Risser, Rogers.

Preston: Simonsen, Laird, King, Robertson, Welsh, Wroe, Holmes (Mousinho 63), Monakana (Buchanan 81), King (Cummins 90), Wright, Beavon. Subs: Stuckman, Byrom, Procter, Sodje.

Team news:

Preston’s Keith Keane is out through suspension, while David Buchanan (hamstring) is an injury doubt. Bailey Wright (ankle) could also miss out through injury, while former Boro man John Mousinho could feature after playing in a midweek friendly.

James Dunne is suspended for Saturday’s match, with Anthony Grant likely to take his place in the middle of midfield.

Smith also needs to make a decision on whether to continue with the partnership of Marcus Haber and Sam Hoskins up front, or replace the latter, who was man of the match on Tuesday, with the more experienced Lucas Akins or Steve Beleck.

The last time Gary Smith was able to name an unchanged side – whether it was because of suspension, injury or tactics – was October 23 against Portsmouth, 23 games ago in all competitions.

Referee:

Andy Woolmer takes this game. The last time he took charge of a Stevenage match was the last time Boro completed back-to-back victories, Portsmouth in October.

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