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Match Previews

The big preview - Preston

6 December 2013

Wanderers return to FA Cup action on Saturday when League 1 promotion-chasers Preston North End visit Adams Park (k.o 3pm).

Blues go into the game on the back of Wednesday’s dramatic late draw at Portsmouth and saw off Crewe Alexandra in a replay to reach the second round.

Simon Grayson’s men lie third in League 1 and are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions. Joe Garner has been in a rich vein of form, scoring seven times in his last five appearances, but the striker is unavailable this weekend after being retrospectively banned following an incident against Port Vale.

The Lilywhites thumped Barnet 6-0 in the first round with goals from Paul Gallagher (3), Garner (2) and Tom Clarke, but former Chairboys striker Stuart Beavon was sent-off in that game.

Gareth Ainsworth - talking to Chairboys Player

“They’re in fantastic form and have a great manager in Simon Grayson. He knows what it takes to be promoted and he has done his stint at other clubs to become this top manager that he is.

“He’s highly regarded in football and I think he’s showing every reason why. They’re in third position in League 1 and he’s looking to get Preston promoted.

“I believe they’re a Championship side with the history they’ve got. They’ve got a good following, but have just lost their way in the last couple of years.

“Hopefully they can get back up there, but they can get promoted at the expense of being knocked out of the FA Cup by Wycombe – that would be nice!”

Simon Grayson - talking to pnefc.net

“We go there knowing they are a decent team. They have a manager who will be enthused and looking forward to this game because of his connections with the football club and they have players who can hurt you on the day. 

“We have treated them exactly the same way we would any other team in our division, we have had them watched three or four times, know what to expect from them and we will be in for a tough game.

“We have had a good month with the results. We have had some good performances and some where we have ground out the results and you have to do that. 

“You can’t play free-flowing football all the time, you can’t always win how you would like to do - you have to mix it up and do whatever you have to win games and hopefully we can do that for many more weeks.”

Team news

Ainsworth has a near fully-fit squad to choose from with Matt Bloomfield (calf) the only major injury doubt. Josh Scowen returned to training today (Friday) and is in contention, as are Kortney Hause, Jon-Paul Pittman and Sebastian Cann-Svard.

Preston will be without suspended trio Garner, Gallagher and Bailey Wright, but Grayson can call on skipper John Welsh again after he missed the 1-0 win against Bristol City due to a family issue. Neil Kilkenny is also available after he was ruled out of that game due to the terms of his loan deal from the Robins.

Odds

Wycombe 3/1
Draw 13/5
Preston 10/11

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