Walsall v Preston preview

Date published: Friday 30th August 2013 1:08

Milan Lalkovic is set to return to contention for Walsall’s home encounter against Preston.

The on-loan Chelsea forward was rested for Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup defeat at Stoke having been nursing a tight hamstring.

But he is back in the frame to start against North End as the Saddlers look to get back to winning ways having also tasted defeat away at Brentford last weekend.

Boss Dean Smith is expected to boast a fully-fit squad after defender Andy Taylor managed 90 minutes at the Britannia Stadium upon his return from an ankle injury.

Simon Grayson has suggested some of his midweek changes could retain their places in the starting line-up against the Saddlers.

The former Leeds boss shuffled his pack in a 2-0 loss to Burnley in the Capital One Cup, bringing in six new faces, with midfielder Joel Byrom one of those specifically singled out for praise.

However, the likes of on-loan goalkeeper Declan Rudd, veteran striker Kevin Davies and defender David Buchanan are expected to resume their starting berths once more.

Otherwise Grayson has a fully-fit and suspension-free squad apart from the injury to forward Jack King (foot) following his surgery.

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Walsall v Preston preview

Date published: Friday 21st September 2012 1:56

Febian Brandy and Adam Chambers again miss out as Walsall play host to Preston.

Forward Brandy has not featured since the opening day of the league season due to a hamstring problem and he continues to watch from the sidelines.

Midfielder Chambers (hamstring) has now returned to training, along with back-up goalkeeper Jimmy Walker (calf), but the pair are not match fit.

Otherwise, manager Dean Smith has no new injury problems from Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat at Stevenage as he looks to get the Saddlers back on track after a previous five-match unbeaten run.

The likes of Will Grigg and Richard Taundry are options for Smith should he wish to make changes against a North End side who triumphed 5-0 in midweek at home to Hartlepool.

Chris Beardsley is an injury doubt for Preston.

North End boss Graham Westley made five changes to his starting line-up for Tuesday night’s 5-0 thumping of Carlisle and had another thrust upon him when striker Beardsley tweaked his hamstring shortly before half-time.

The former Stevenage man was replaced by Jack King, who went on to net the Lilywhites’ third and is well placed to start against the Saddlers.

John Welsh (gashed shin) missed out against Pools, along with fellow injury victim Paul Huntington, but Joel Byrom made a maiden start in midfield and skipper John Mousinho (hamstring) returned to play the final 11 minutes – the 26-year-old’s first action for a month.

“At the moment we seem to be getting one or two lads back, but also one or two dropping out,” Westley told the Lancashire Evening Post. “That’s why it important to realise that it’s a squad game here. If you lose someone, you still want the team to be able to go about their job.”

Striker Lee Trundle (knee) and winger Lee Holmes (gashed leg) remain on the sidelines.

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Walsall v Preston preview

Date published: Friday 14th October 2011 1:35

Jon Macken’s hamstring injury will keep him sidelined as Walsall aim to end their eight-match winless run.

The veteran striker has missed the Saddlers’ last three games with the problem and will again have to watch from the stands against North End, whom he represented for five years between 1997 and 2002 before earning a big-money move to Manchester City.

Macken remains the only absentee for manager Dean Smith, who continues to search for the right formula to end Walsall’s current struggles.

Forward Alex Nicholls is pushing for a starting berth having come off the bench to bag the equaliser in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Wycombe.

The Saddlers go into the game having not won a league match on home soil since the opening day of the season.

Iain Turner could return for Preston.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper has been out of action since North End’s 4-3 win over Yeovil in early September with a toe injury but he has returned to training and manager Phil Brown must now decide whether to recall him or stick with Andreas Arestidou.

Iain Hume, Conor McLaughlin and Adam Barton have all been on international duty – which saw last week’s League One clash with Sheffield United postponed – and they will be assessed for injury.

Striker Hume suffered a hamstring problem which saw him withdrawn after 34 minutes of Canada’s 0-0 draw with Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and with a lengthy return flight back to the UK, Brown may be cautious about risking the former Barnsley forward.

North End will take to the field aiming to get back to winning ways after a seven-game victory spree ended in defeat at Leyton Orient a fortnight ago.

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