Bar for an unexpected bad turn in the weather, we should be alright tomorrow for the “Some People Are Trying To Sell This As A Derby But I`m Not Having That Clash” against Preston at the Macron. Being the only two Lancashire clubs in the Championship this season though, we`re expecting a large turnout from up the M61 despite their grumbles over the ticket prices. On the pitch, Bolton will be confident as we always should be at home. This is a tricky one though, Preston lost at home last weekend but that masks what has been an incredible season for them, in the hunt for a play-off spot.
“It will be a fast and furious game. Both teams have good energy, I think it`s one of those where things might not settle for a long time. We have to be ready to compete. Going back to Deepdale before Christmas, we got caught in the derby atmosphere for the first 15-20 minutes, the intensity of it, and as the game went on we got better. This time we have to start quick.”
Phil Parkinson in the Bolton News.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Josh Vela claims his ankle is alright so we could see him recalled to the side. Reece Burke on the other hand picked up a knock at Norwich last weekend, while Phil Parkinson will consult his backroom staff to decide whether Jan Kirchhoff is ready to come into the squad. Mark Little and Karl Henry remain suspended.
Player to watch: Josh Vela
Vela could be back tomorrow and it`s a type of game which could suit him, an energetic game where he`ll put some tackles in.
Preston North End Team News:
Calum Woods was taken off at half-time last week in a poor performance, but he should start again. Sean Maguire continues to recover from a long-term injury and won`t be involved tomorrow. Neither will Darnell Fisher, who is suspended.
Player to watch: Tom Barkhuizen
Since Jordan Hugill`s January departure, Barkhuizen is now their top scorer, and also has more assists than any of his team-mates. He`s quite a tidy player too.
Match Facts & Stats
We lost our last home game against Preston two years ago. It was the first game after Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth took over and was also Neil Lennon`s last game in charge. Liam Trotter gave us a first-half lead, but Jordan Hugill and Eoin Doyle would ensure all three points went up the M61.
The reverse fixture was played in November. Wanderers started slowly but managed to hold out for a 0-0 draw at Deepdale.
We`ve only lost one home game (in the league) since September 23. Preston are winless in four games after a run of three draws followed by a defeat last time out but are unbeaten away in the league since November.
We don`t lose at home, they don`t lose away. The weather might not be very nice. I`ll go for a draw. 1-1.
There`s some opportunities to drag teams into the relegation mix. We have a midweek trip to Reading, before travelling to Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday. Imagine if we won one of those. Or even scored to be honest.