London calling for Preston North End in season finale

Brentford have been forced to kick their heels over the last fortnight after inadvertently getting dragged into the saga at Bolton Wanderers.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 2:26 pm
Neal Maupay has scored 27 goals for Brentford this season

The Bees, who are Preston’s last-day opponents on Sunday, should have played Bolton last week but their visit north got postponed due to the ongoing financial mess at Wanderers,

It did look like they would have to play the game next week but on Friday Brentford were awarded a 1-0 walkover.

Alex Neil wants to see his side finish on a high in West London but knows a tough test awaits them at Griffin Park.

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The Lilywhites manager said: “Brentford are a good side aren’t they?

“They have some really good technical players who play in a manner which is hard to pin down.

“They have gone to a three at the back system now.

“On their day they are a match for anyone – they took Leeds apart down there but equally went to Reading and lost 2-1.

“If we aren’t organised and don’t know what we are doing without the ball, we are going to find it difficult on the day.”

Neal Maupay will carry a big threat against North End and is a striker who is certain to attract attention from the Premier League this summer.

The Frenchman has scored 27 goals this season, 24 of those in the Championship.

Four of those have come in the last five games.

Neil said: “Maupay is a very good player, he can do it all.

“He can drop in, take it and link it, he can run away from you, he can score and is brave.”

Brentford’s form has been a bit patchy of late, somewhat similar to that of Preston.

They have won two, drawn three and lost four of their last nine games, and currently sit in 15th place.

Earlier in the season they lost manager Dean Smith to Aston Villa, replacing him with Thomas Frank, who was on Smith’s coaching staff.

Frank has won 13 of his 36 games in charge and will look to push the Bees on next term.

Due to the issues at Bolton, the last action for Brentford was their 2-0 win over Leeds on Easter Monday.

Maupay and Sergi Canos found the net, Canos a player Neil worked with at Norwich.

Frank said: “I was pleased with the performance, the win, the way we did it.

“It was a good performance and a well deserved win.

“We knew we could press them high and create opportunities, and we scored the two goals.

“I was very pleased with the way we defended, the high pressure and the low pressure, especially in the second half.”

When PNE and Brentford met at Deepdale in October, Neil’s men were 4-3 winners.

Three goals in the opening 23 minutes from Alan Browne, Callum Robinson and Tom Barkhuizen put North End in control.

The Bees pulled it back to 3-2 through Canos and Ollie Watkins before Robinson got his second of the night.

Maupay scored late but Preston held on.