Until last week’s defeat at Brentford, Preston have been revitalised since Simon Grayson arrived at Deepdale to replace the sacked Graham Westley. Indeed, that defeat at Griffin Park marked their first in five matches and the first under the former Blackpool, Leeds and Huddersfield manager.
Last Time Out
With no midweek game, Preston are still smarting from their dramatic late defeat at the promotion-chasing Bees last week. In an even game that could have gone either way, it was a former Bees player in John Mousinho who gave away the vital injury-time spot-kick, which was duly converted by Sam Saunders.
Grayson was certainly disappointed with the decision to award the penalty, saying post-match: “It is hard for me to comment because I have not seen it again on the TV screens or anything like that, but it looked a real soft penalty.”
Having suffered from a huge number of fitness issues earlier in the season, Preston’s injury list has cleared up somewhat. Jack King should be fit after missing the Brentford match but captain John Welsh is a doubt after suffering a foot injury after a succession of tough tackles at Griffin Park, Joel Byrom and Scott Laird are also unlikely to feature. Bailey Wright and Will Hayhurst trained yesterday but are still doubts.
Last Time We Met
Against a Preston side struggling under the stewardship of Westley, the O’s put on a professional performance to seal a 2-0 victory and a fifth victory on the bounce back in November. In extremely wet conditions at the Matchroom Stadium, Orient secured their victory through a goal in either half from Mathieu Baudry and Kevin Lisbie.
One To Watch
Joe Garner was once being touted as a striker capable of holding his own in the Premier League, such was his goalscoring prowess in the lower leagues. This has hardly been a prolific campaign for the 24-year-old with only eight goals to his name so far, but the O’s backline will still need to keep a close eye on him at Deepdale.
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Orient wins: 21
Preston wins: 16