Match Preview: Preston North End v Sheffield United

Last updated : 26 March 2008 By @blades_mad1889

lilywhites vs blades - 29.03.2008 @ Deepdale.
Earlier in the day, before the Blades beat Barnsley 1-0, Preston North End and Burnley contested the Hot-Pot (Lancashire) derby which was won 2-1 by the home side.

It was a tense affair which could have gone either way, but Chris Brown's second half strike sealed the win for the Deepdale club and sent the Lilywhites to their fourth win in five games.

On loan striker Tamas Priskin (from Watford) put Preston ahead within five minutes of the start - curling home from 18 yards out but James O'Connor made it 1-1 with his long range effort.

However it was Brown, formerly with Hull City who finished off the Clarets when he poked home from close range, and the visitors day was ruined even more when defender Clarke Carlisle was handed a straight red card - the former QPR man will sit out a suspension when the Blades travel to Turf Moor on 12th April.

The Lilywhites will be without midfielder Kevin Nicholls (knee cartridge) and is expected to be out up to six weeks after he was injured in the reserves 2-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers little over a week ago.

Striker Craig Beattie has retuned to West Bromwich Albion following his injury but defender Michael Hart (hip) is near full fitness and may play some part against the Blades.

Possible Lilywhites Line-Up: Andy Lonegan, Sean St. Ledger, Callum Davidson, Youl Mawene, Paul Mckenna, Simon Whaley, Billy Jones, Chris Sedgwick, Darren Carter, Tamas Priskin, Chris Brown.

Billy Sharp netted the games only goal in the South Yorkshire derby between Barnsley and Sheffield United, and the Blades claimed their first league victory their since October 1989.

It was an uneventful first half which saw Rob Hulse head wide of the post in front of the Pontefract End whilst at the other end the Tykes were denied a stonewall penalty when Stephen Foster was dragged down in the area after Brian Howard crossed.

Whilst Chris Morgan cleared Kayode Odejayi's effort off the line early on in the second half - on 74th minute Gray Speed broke free and smashed a goal bound effort against the post with keeper Luke Steele unable to get anywhere near his shot.

But three minutes later the winner was their when James Beattie provided for Billy Sharp to race through and smash the ball home past keeper Luke Steele to take all three points to S2.

Sheffield United could be without defender Derek Geary (hamstring) who limped out in the first half of the Blades victory against the Reds, on-loan defender John Halls replaced the Republic of Ireland international and the Reading man is expect to replace him once again.

Midfielder Stephen Quinn could be re-installed after serving his ban but it is likely that Kevin Blackwell will stick with a similar side which beat Norwich City (2-0) and Barnsley (1-0), unless further injuries force him to do otherwise. The Blades will however be without Chris Armstrong (groin) and Lee Martin (knee).

Although unlikely to feature Blades boss Kevin Blackwell could turn to former Northender Chris Lucketti who was captured by the Deepdale club in a £750,000 deal from West Yorkshire club Huddersfield Town in August 2001 and stayed their as club captain until May 2006 when after a successful loan spell joined Sheffield United in a £300,000 transfer.

The grandson of an Italian ice cream seller started a total of 203 (+7) games for the Lancastrian outfit and netted eleven goals before making his move to Bramall Lane.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, John Halls, Chris Morgan, Matthew Kilgallon, Gary Naysmith, David Cotterill, Michael Tonge, Gary Speed, David Carney, James Beattie, Billy Sharp.

:: Man in the Middle ::

Referee: C. Oliver (Northumberland)
Assistants: J. Collin & P. Graham
Fourth Official: M. Astley

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