PREVIEW: Preston North End vs. Aston Villa

Preston North End take on Aston Villa at Villa Park tonight (Tuesday).

PNE are currently seventh in the Championship table while Villa are four places above them in third.

Last week The Lillywhites drew 1 – 1 at home against league leaders Wolves.

North End finished the game against Wolves with only 10 men for the second week in a row. They stretched their record to just one defeat in the last 16 Championship games, with Alan Browne putting them ahead of the league leaders just after half-time with an impressive header.

Ben Pearson, Greg Cunningham, injured, and Tom Clarke, Paul Gallagher, suspended, will miss the game for PNE.

Aston Villa lost 2 – 0 on Saturday against Fulham. The win saw The Cottagers stretch their unbeaten run to 10 games.

Both teams have not had long to recover after two hard games. We spoke to Preston North End midfielder and goal scorer last Saturday, Alan Browne.

When asked about having two hard games right after each other he said: “It’s always going to be tough having two games in quick succession. But when you’re playing two teams that are that high up on the table you know it’s going to be a tough week.

“We’ve already had a really tough test against Wolves especially going down to 10 men, obviously having to fill the gaps in, stick together and work hard. That’ll take its toll on our legs but we’ve been in today and yesterday for training and recovery to get as fit as possible for tomorrow night. Hopefully we can go to Villa Park and get the result we need.”

He also expressed his delight at scoring the only goal for PNE last Saturday.

He added: “It’s great on a personal note to be getting on the score sheet. Obviously getting in the right areas and coming across to score is always good, especially playing in the more advanced position I am at the moment but it obviously helps the team as well and that’s all I’m concerned about, being an asset to the team.”

In the Lillywhites’ game against Wolves Browne had to move into, for him, the unfamiliar territory of centre half due to injuries in the PNE defence. But he’s hoping now the squad is back up to strength they will be even stronger against Villa.

He said: “It’ll be a completely different game to what people saw when we played them at Deepdale. Our squad wasn’t anywhere near what we wanted it to be.

“We really struggled with numbers in terms of defence. And I had to fill in there so going into this game now with people coming back from injuries and suspension we’ll have near enough a full squad.

“So we can take the game to them and I think given the result that they got at Deepdale they might take it for granted, but we’ll be going there to come away with the full three points and I think we’re more than capable.”