These two sides could hardly be in more contrasting form. Preston, unbeaten in their last four league games, will approach their clash with a Brentford side who have lost their last three with huge confidence.
It is such form which has seen Championship new-boys Preston climb to an impressive 13th place in the table and a reassuring 11 points off the relegation zone. Victory against Brentford would see the Lilywhites jump into the top half of the table. Just two defeats in their last 10 league games has Deepdale believing that not only can their side maintain their Championship status but could challenge for a top half finish.
In stark contrast, Brentford are on a sticky run. Three consecutive defeats, albeit against high-flying opposition, have seen the Bees slip to 11th while manager Dean Smith has been dealing with off-field distractions due to James Tarkowski’s desire to leave the club. The Londoners will also be determined to retain the services of midfielder Alan Judge in this window, who has attracted attention thanks to his 11 league goals this season.
Despite the Bees recent struggles, Preston boss Simon Grayson is well aware of the threat they pose and says his side are determined to continue their good run of form.
“We look forward to playing a good football club who have some good players, a new manager, and hopefully we can continue this good run that we are on at the moment,” Grayson told the Preston club website.
“It will be a tough game against Brentford but we will be positive in our approach, making sure that we do the right things.
“I think the last game against Rotherham was a great atmosphere, where the fans really got behind the team in that second half and ultimately led us to the late winner.
“Hopefully we can have the same sort of attitude from the players and the same atmosphere from the fans and the same result would be nice.”
Brentford have had the better of the recent meetings between the two sides, and are unbeaten in the last six league encounters – winning five. The last time Preston were victorious over the Bees was October 1999 but given the current form of the two sides, Grayson’s men will be confident of picking up all three points.
But a feast of goals is not expected however. Deepdale has seen just 21 goals scored this season – the lowest number scored at any Championship ground.
Liam Grimshaw, Preston’s new signing from Manchester United, will be unavailable due to having minor knee surgery. Grayson also has doubts over the fitness of Adam Reach and Tom Clarke while Ben Pearson, another arrival from Old Trafford, is set to continue in midfield after impressing since arriving at Deepdale.
For Brentford, James Tarkowski will not be considered after refusing to play last weekend though the wantaway defender has returned to first-team training. Scott Hogan has also returned to training but is still unavailable for selection and Andreas Bjelland is still sidelined with a knee problem.
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