Match Preview: Preston North End v Leyton Orient – League One


Leyton Orient travel to Lancashire in the hope of bouncing back from a disappointing defeat last time out. However, Fabio Liverani’s side faces a difficult task against a Preston team that has done well so far this term, particularly at home. Simon Grayson will also be looking for a response from his side after defeats in their last two games. Here we preview Friday night’s game:

Preston North End

Summer Transfers

[tabs title1=”IN” text1=”Jordan Hugill (Port Vale, Undisclosed), Jamie Jones (Leyton Orient), Calum Woods (Huddersfield Town), Andy Little (Rangers), Kyel Reid (Bradford City), Paul Gallagher (Leicester City, Loan), Callum Robinson (Aston Villa, Loan).” tabs title2=”OUT” text2=”Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (Burton Albion), John Mousinho (Burton Albion), Nicky Wroe (Notts County), Ryan Croasdale (Sheffield Wednesday), Graham Cummins (Exeter City), Stuart Beavon (Burton Albion), Joel Byrom (Northampton Town, Loan), Chris Beardsley, Iain Hume, Alex Nicholson” ]

Winter Transfers

[tabs title1=”IN” text1=”Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Ipswich Town, Free), Jermaine Beckford (Bolton, Loan), Bradley Fewster (Middlesbrough, Loan), Sam Johnstone (Manchester United, Loan).” tabs title2=”OUT” text2=”Joel Byrom (Northampton Town, Free), Will Hayhurst (Notts County, Undisclosed)” ]


This Season

League One: 4th  FA Cup: 4th Round  League Cup: 2nd round

When Orient hosted Preston in October the Lilywhites were on a six-match winning streak in the league that had propelled them from mid-table up into second place. Simon Grayson’s side took all three points on that night in E10 but three consecutive league defeats followed. Preston bounced back with a win over then league leaders Bristol City and they avoided defeat in their next nine games in all competitions, including a win over Norwich in the FA Cup.

However that sequence came to an end when they lost 2-0 against Walsall in the first leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area final at Deepdale, which was also live on Sky Sports.

Last Saturday,Preston suffered defeat again, this time at the hands of fellow promotion contenders Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. The hosts took the lead shortly after half-time when Marc McNulty beat Stuckmann with a looping shot. The Blades then extended their advantage through ex-O Jamal Campbell-Ryce who fired the ball through Stuckmann’s legs. Josh Brownhill then scored a consolation goal for Preston late on, as he beat Mark Howard with a free-kick from 20 yards.


Last lineup:

 Stuckmann, Wiseman, Clarke, Huntington, Buchanan, Humphrey (Ebanks-Blake 77), Kilkenny, Welsh (Brownhill 67), Gallagher, Beckford (Reid 67), Davies



Jones, Wright, Woods, Browne, Ebanks-Blake, Brownhill, Reid

Preston have a good record at home so far this season, having lost just once in the league at Deepdale in 11 games.

Grayson’s side also have the best record in League One when facing sides in the bottom half, with ten wins, one draw and one defeat. Their home record against those sides is even more impressive as they have won all four games while conceding just two goals against bottom half teams.


Team News

Veteran striker Kevin Davies could be in line to make his 800th appearance in senior football. Preston are missing three attackers in Jordan Hugill (knee), Andy Little and top goalscorer Joe Garner.

Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone joined the Lilywhites on loan this week and he could go straight into the starting lineup at the expense of Thorsten Stuckmann, who replaced Jamie Jones as Simon Grayson’s number one choice in goal in November.

There has also been a departure at Deepdale this week as Will Hayhurst has signed for Notts County.


Top Scorers:

Joe Garner (12 goals in 20 appearances)

Joe Garner was Preston’s top scorer last season with 24 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions and the striker was already half-way to that total when injury curtailed his season in November. He managed three goals in his first two games of this season but didn’t score again until mid September when he embarked on a scoring run, grabbing a goal in four consecutive games. In October, Garner bagged a hat-trick to secure a 3-2 victory over Fleetwood.

Paul Gallagher (7 goals in 30 appearances)

In Garner’s absence, Preston may have to rely on second-highest scorer Paul Gallagher to find the net. The Leicester loanee didn’t score his first of the season until the start of October but he then scored in his next two games. Gallagher has rediscovered his goalscoring touch again recently, by scoring in the 2-0 win over Yeovil before grabbing the only goal of the game to secure a victory over Barnsley on Boxing Day. At the beginning of this month the 30 year-old was instrumental in his side’s FA Cup upset of Championship Norwich City. Gallagher scored both goals in a 2-0 win, sending the Lilywhites through to the Fourth Round.

Ex O’s

Martin Ling signed Jamie Jones  for the O’s in June 2008 following his release from his boyhood club Everton. He went on to make 179 appearances during six seasons at Brisbane Road.

Nathan Clarke’s brother Tom Clarke  had a loan spell at Brisbane Road from September 2011 until December. He made 12 appearances for the O’s before returning to Huddersfield.


[textmarker color=”DB0404″ type=”background color”]Leyton Orient[/textmarker]

Last Saturday, any new year optimism following Orient’s first back-to-back wins of the season was dampened as Fleetwood secured a 1-0 win on a frustrating afternoon for the O’s.

The visitors made the better start and they could easily have taken an early lead given the chances they created, Stephen Dobbie’s volley onto the crossbar being a prime example. Orient gradually grew into the half and there were chances for Chris Dagnall and Josh Wright either side of a penalty appeal after the O’s felt Stephen Jordan had handled in the box.

Both sides had opportunities to take the lead going into half-time. First Antoni Sarcevic was denied by Gary Woods in a one-on-one, then at the other end Dagnall forced a save and Mooney’s header was cleared off the line from the corner that followed.

The match didn’t remain goalless for long as the Cod Army went ahead than a minute into the second half. Jamie Proctor headed the ball down into the path of Gareth Evans who was through on goal and he coolly slotted the ball past Woods.

Second-half substitute Kevin Lisbie had a prime opportunity to grab the equliser. Andrea Dossena delivered a fine cross from the left flank, but the experienced striker somehow put the ball over the crossbar from close range.

There was drama late on as Bradley Pritchard was fouled in the penalty area. The referee agreed that it was a foul but he incorrectly ruled that it took place outside the box and so awarded a free-kick. Fabio Liverani’s passionate protests saw him come onto the pitch which resulted in him being sent to the stands to witness his side suffer a 1-0 defeat.

So far this season the O’s have lost just one match when facing top-half opposition away from home, however they have won just twice and drawn four in seven games when hosted by teams in the top twelve

Orient have lost four of their last six away games in the league but their overall record on the road is reasonable relative to their league position.

Team News

Orient are facing what Fabio Liverani has described as an ’emergency’ going into the match against Preston, with 10 players ruled out.

Dean Cox is the latest injury concern as he has missed training all week due to a hip problem and as a result he won’t be involved at Deepdale.

Adam Legzdins is still on the sidelines after injuring his shoulder against Crawley Town on Boxing Day. Shaun Batt also suffered an Achilles injury in that game which has kept him out of action recently too.

Jay Simpson and Jobi McAnuff are still struggling  with their ankle problems. Marvin Bartley and Lloyd James are longer term injury concerns.

Darius Henderson has returned to training this week, however the striker has been on the sidelines since October due to a foot injury and Fabio Liverani is reluctant to rush his recovery.

It is unclear exactly which players are expected to be unavailable for the trip to Preston. Josh Wright was substituted at half-time against Fleetwood but it is unknown whether the change was tactical or due to injury. John Lundstram replaced him and he could be in line for a start.

Liverani has also added Swansea youngster Ryan Hedges on loan this week and he could well make his debut at Deepdale.

Nathan Clarke was back in the matchday squad last week after a spell out with a thigh injury. Gianvito Plasmati also came off the bench as he returned from his hamstring problem.




Despite the injuries, Liverani may only have to make two changes to his starting lineup. Hedges could come into the side to take the place of the injured Dean Cox and John Lundstram could replace Josh Wright in central midfield.

However, another option that Liverani may choose is to go with the 4-1-2-1-2 shape that Orient ended the Fleetwood match with. This could be viable given the absence of senior wide players and it would allow Liverani to combine Mooney, Lisbie and Dagnall in attacking positions.







When the two sides met at Brisbane Road in October the Lilywhites claimed a 2-0 win. Preston went ahead after twenty minutes when Chris Humphrey’s low cross deflected off of Shane Lowry’s legs and Callum Robinson reacted quickly to apply the finish from close range. The away side then sealed the win with a second goal fifteen minutes from time. Tom Clarke rose at the far post to head Neil Kilkenny’s free-kick across the goalmouth where Paul Huntington was on hand to bundle the ball over the line.

Last February emotional tributes were paid at Deepdale following the death of PNE legend Sir Tom Finney. Mathieu Baudry put the O’s in front just before half-time, but the French defender gave away a penalty, which allowed Joe Garner to level the score from the spot.

The O’s last won at Deepdale in January 2012. Marc Laird opened the scoring with just over twenty minutes left on the clock. Jimmy Smith then rounded off the victory with a goal in the 80th minute.

The Lilywhites last claimed a home win over Orient in November 1995. Andy Saville grabbed a hat-trick and a goal from Simon Davey completed a convincing 4-0 victory.





[textmarker color=”000000″ type=”background color”]Match Officials[/textmarker]

Referee: Scott Duncan

Assistants: Tom Nield and Jason Whiteley

Fourth Official: Christopher Kavana


Follow us on twitter @TotalOrient for match updates. The match will also be live on Sky Sports 1 and the Leyton Orient Supporters Club will be open to show the game.

Deepdale Post Code: PR1 6RU


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