As it happened: Watford 4-1 Preston North End

Preston North End make the trip to Vicarage Road to face Watford in the Championship, kick off at 3pm.

By Tom Sandells
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 12:55 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th November 2020, 5:02 pm
Watford's Vicarage Road.
Watford's Vicarage Road.

We'll have all the build up, news, reaction and action throughout the afternoon so make sure to refresh the page (F5) so you don't miss a thing!

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Watford vs PNE

Last updated: Saturday, 28 November, 2020, 15:08

  • Full Time: Watford 4-1 PNE
  • We’ll have all the team news from a depleted PNE at 2pm.
  • A good away record will give North End hope this afternoon, despite their ranks being thinned.
  • Watford will be looking to keep pushing at the top end of the table.
  • Follow us on Twitter - @LEP_football

More time on the sidelines for Billy Bodin

Billy Bodin has hit another roadblock in his attempt to get a consistent run of games in the Preston North End side.

The 28-year-old winger recently had minor knee surgery after picking up an injury in training.

Although he should be back after Christmas, it is more time on the sidelines for a player who is approaching the third anniversary of arriving at Deepdale.

PNE manager Alex Neil said: “Billy had a procedure on his knee, that is why he has been missing and will be missing for the foreseeable.

Read the full story here.

Strong start from the hosts

Watford have made their best start to a league campaign at home since 2008/09, winning five and drawing one of their opening six games both times.

Selection dilemma for Alex Neil

It won’t be easy for Alex Neil to pick a defence today, or it could be massively simple.

With no fit full backs he could try to fit other players into a system with four at the back but he may also just opt to use his three fit centre backs in a three at the back formation.

That would likely include attacking wing backs, which in the past have been Tom Barkhuizen and Scott Sinclair.

PNE Starting XI: Rudd, Storey, Bauer, Davies, Barkhuizen, Pearson, Johnson, Potts, Sinclair, Maguire, Riis. 

PNE Subs: Ripley, Huntington, Ledson, Coulton, Baxter, O'Reilly, Bayliss, Stockley, Holland-Wilkinson.

The Watford line up...

PNE fans will be pleased to see the returns of both Ben Pearson and Ben Davies.

Both have had periods out with injury, Pearson making a brief return before being ruled out again, and their comebacks aren’t a moment too soon.

A switch in formation?

With a lack of full backs available it looks like it could be three at the back today, with Barkhuizen and Sinclair as wing backs.

A chance to climb the table

With three points this afternoon North End could fire themselves back into the top half, they currently sit 15th but could end the day as high as 10th.

After what many fans were dubbing the worst performance they’ve seen by a PNE team, it’s down to them to show a response this afternoon.

It won’t be easy against a strong side, who are strong at home as well, but it would be quite ‘PNE’ of them to get a result.

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