Preston North End vs Nottingham Forest likely line-ups, key men, the referee, odds and all you need to know ahead of Championship clash

Ben Davies challenges Lewis Grabban in the game between PNE and Nottingham Forest at the City Ground earlier in the season
Ben Davies challenges Lewis Grabban in the game between PNE and Nottingham Forest at the City Ground earlier in the season

Preston North End will look to continue their fine Championship form when Nottingham Forest come to town on Saturday.

From likely line-ups to key men and the referee, all you need to know ahead of the game can be found below.

Likely line-ups

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Storey, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Gallagher, Potts, Browne, Barkhuizen, Maguire.

Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Janko, Milosevic, Benalouane, Robinson, Watson, Lolley, Yates, Colback, Osborn, Grabban.

Key men

Sean Maguire: The Irishman got up and running for the season with a fine touch and finish against Norwich on Wednesday night. It was the final box ticked in what has been an impressive return from injury. A vital component of North End’s fluid frontline.

Jack Colback: Experienced midfielder really makes Forest tick in the centre of the pitch. He’s a very good all-round player who puts the tackles in, helps protect the back four, but can pick a pass and help push Forest up the other end of the pitch too.

In the visiting dugout

Martin O’Neill: The 66-year-old returned to club management a month ago when he succeeded Aitor Karanka at the City Ground. O’Neill had previously been Republic of Ireland manager for five years, the highlight of that job guiding them to Euro 2016. O’Neill kicked-off his managerial career with Wycombe, going on to manage Norwich, Leicester, Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland before landing the Irish post. As a player, he was a key part of Forest’s golden era which saw them win the league title and two European Cups.

The referee

Tim Robinson: The West Sussex official is in charge of Preston’s clash with Nottingham Forest. It is the first time Mr Robinson has been in the middle for a North End game this season. He refereed PNE three times last season, including the 1-1 draw at Norwich when there was a long delay after one of the assistants got injured – a fan ended up as fourth official. This season, he had taken charge of 24 games – showing 91 yellow cards and seven red cards.

Odds

PNE: 11/10

Draw: 12/5

Forest: 13/5

This week in PNE history

59 years ago: Preston drew 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford on February 13, 1960. Tom Finney netted for North End, this his final season as a player.

43 years ago: On February 14, 1976, PNE beat Swindon Town 4-2 at Deepdale. Jimmy Brown, John Smith, Ray Treacy and Alex Bruce got the goals.

31 years ago: Goals from Brian Mooney and Gary Swann saw North End drew 2-2 against Sunderland at Deepdale on February 13, 1988.

22 years ago: Paul McKenna scored his first Preston goal in a 2-1 win over Wycombe at Deepdale on February 15, 1997. Simon Davey netted too.