Hull City Vs Preston North End
Date: Saturday 12th February 2011
Venue: KC Stadium, Hull
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (click here for stats)
North End fans might tell you that they have been to hell and back this term but it’s going to Hull and back that could determine whether Championship football will be on offer at Deepdale next season.
A defeat for Phil Brown on his first visit back to the KC Stadium since his departure in March last year could prove to be too much for North End to recover from.
North End’s away stats don’t make great reading with their last away win dating back to that famous night at Elland Road in September where Preston rose from the dead to see off Leeds in a 6-4 win having been 4-1 down.
The aforementioned is one of only two victories on the road for North End this campaign, only Crystal Palace have a worse away record in the division.
A similar performance to that of the second half will be exactly what Phil Brown will be wanting from his players and could kick start the Lilywhites’ proposed revival.
Hull welcome the visit of North End on the back of a 5-1 pounding to Scunthorpe at the weekend, a result which made it six league games without defeat for Nigel Pearson’s men.
The Tigers’ visit to Deepdale in November saw Nigel Pearson’s men return to Humberside with all three points thanks to a 2-0 win. Goals from Richard Garcia and veteran midfielder Nicky Barmby were enough to condemn North End in front of the Sky cameras.
Due to Hull’s participation in the Premier League, North End’s last trip to the KC Stadium was the last match of the Paul Simpson reign. The Lilywhites were brushed aside in a 3-0 defeat thanks to goals from Dean Windass, Frazer Campbell and Andy Dawson.
The reverse fixture from that season was exactly that, a reverse of the score suffered at the KC. Alan Irvine picked up his first win as North End manager in emphatic fashion thanks to goals from Jemal Johnson, David Jones and a 30-yard screamer from Paul McKenna in a 3-0 win.
For the home team, Liam Rosenior and James Harper remain doubts for Saturday’s clash with neck and foot injuries respectively.
Also, Nigel Pearson could also be without Caleb Folan (knee), Vito Mannone (groin) and Richard Garcia (knee) whilst Nolberto Solano made his comeback from a thigh strain at the weekend against Scunthorpe.
North End of course will have to do without Conor McLaughlin whose broken leg will keep the Northern Ireland under-21 international out for the rest of the campaign.
Ian Ashbee is set to make his first appearance back at the KC Stadium following his January transfer across the Pennines whilst goalkeeper Iain Turner is in line to make his debut.