With Preston the visitors on Friday night, it’s time for one of our last two minute guides of the season…
Manager: Rob Page
Last match: 1-1 vs Scunthorpe
Form guide: D-D-L-L-L
Manager: Simon Grayson
Last match: 2-2 vs Gillingham
Form guide: D-D-W-W-D
Tom Pope: in contention
Tom Pope is in contention after recovering from a virus. Pope will put pressure on Achille Campion and Ben Williamson for a place upfront but due to Pope’s ankle problems, he may have to settle for a place on the bench. The extension of Tommy O’Sullivan’s loan deal means the midfielder could once again make the bench.
Preston will give late fitness tests to Jermaine Beckford and Scott Laird.
OVF Guesswork starting XI
Veseli – Duffy – Collins – Dickinson
Dodds – Brown – O’Connor – Marshall
Campion – Williamson
“From the first minute we’ll respect what they’re all about, they’re on a great run, they’re pushing for automatic promotion. But… we need the points as badly as them, if not more so, and we’ll be fully committed to it from the first whistle…”
– Rob Page
Last time we met
The two sides have met twice already this season. Vale managed to lose twice in eleven days, succumbing 2-3 in the JPT and losing 0-2 in the game at Deepdale (with Stephane Zubar controversially seeing red).
- Vale wins: 17
- Preston wins: 24
- Draws: 11
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3DwBMF0PdwPort Vale could be Bristol City’s best friends once again. City fans have already serenaded Colin Daniel as the player whose goal put rivals Rovers out of the league. If Vale win on Friday then Bristol City will win the League One title.
The Vale’s last home win over Preston came in 2006 in the League Cup. Goals from Akpo Sodje and Leon Constantine gave the Valiants a 2-1 win.
However, for Vale’s last home league win over Preston, you have to go all the way back to 1989 and Darren Beckford’s hat-trick in the 1989 play-off semi-final. The highlights are above.
They played for both…
Vale will miss catching up with striker Jordan Hugill as the forward is on loan at Hartlepool. It’s fair to say that Hugill did not depart Vale Park on the best of terms. Many fans felt that he owed some loyalty to the club after he was plucked from non-league obscurity and developed into a raw but potentially prolific forward.
Chris Robertson: appears likely to be on the bench for Vale
Another player who is set to miss out is defender Chris Robertson who is set to make the subs’ bench. The centre-half was signed from Preston in 2013 after a one-year spell at Deepdale. Goalkeeper Chris Neal also began his career at Preston, making a solitary appearance before moving to Shrewsbury Town.
Other players to appear for both clubs include:
- Winger Gareth Ainsworth
- Midfielder Ian Bogie
- Striker Darren Beckford
- Defender Liam Chilvers
- Striker Akpo Sodje
- Winger Oshor Williams
- Striker Dave Hibbert
- Goalkeeper Barry Siddall
Hard Times is considered one of Charles Dickens’ most hard-hitting books with its emphasis on exploring social questions of the day through its depiction of life in Coketown, a generic Northern English mill-town. George Bernard Shaw called it a “passionate revolt against the whole industrial order of the modern world.”
In fact, the novel was rumoured to have been inspired by Dickens’ visit to Preston when he stayed in the Bull & Royal hotel.