Preston searching for rare victory against Brentford at Griffin Park
Preston will be aiming to end a six-year wait for some joy at Brentford's Griffin Park this weekend.
Not since Phil Brown’s time in charge have North End brought anything back from TW8 – that was in 2011 when PNE beat the Bees 3-1 thanks to a Neil Mellor double and one from Iain Hume.
They have visited four times since and have lost on all four occasions.
In the 2014 meeting, the Bees’ 1-0 win saw them clinch promotion out of League One.
Last season’s meeting was a painful one, Preston beaten 5-0 – four of the goals shipped in the last 16 minutes.
Tomorrow, North End will be facing a Brentford side who play an expansive game, one which is easy on the eye.
Dean Smith’s men like to play out from the back, PNE boss Alex Neil likening their style to that of London rivals Fulham.
“Brentford have some good players, technically they are very good,” said Neil.
“They move it between the lines very well and have good options in the middle of the pitch.
“Brentford have guys who can pick a pass like Romaine Sawyers, while Ryan Woods keeps them ticking over.
“Up front they have guys who score goals.
“They will be without Sergi Canos who I had at Norwich.
“Sergi has done well since he went back into their team so he will be a loss for them.”
Canos, a £2.5m signing from Norwich who started off at Liverpool, was sent off after just 21 minutes of Brentford’s 3-0 defeat at Derby last week.
That was a red card which the Bees chose not to appeal, although manager Smith was critical of the decision after the game.
Explaining why they had not appealed, Smith said: “The referee told us he sent Sergi off because he went in to the tackle with excessive force.
“In order to have a red card overturned we need to be able to prove that an obvious error has been committed by the officials.
“I still do not think it is a red card offence but the terminology used makes it unlikely an appeal would win.
“ We do not want to risk an accusation of a frivolous appeal and losing Sergi for more than three games so we will not be appealing.”
The Derby loss came on the back of a 1-0 home defeat to Norwich four days earlier. Before that, they had won two on the bounce – 1-0 away at Reading and 2-0 at home to Bolton Wanderers.
Brentford had a slow start to the season, the first eight Championship games failing to produce a win.
They picked up during the autumn though, their 3-2 win at Deepdale in October part of a nine-game unbeaten run.
Their joint top scorers in Championship action are Lasse Vibe and Ollie Watkins with seven apiece.
Neal Maupay has netted six goals since his arrival from French club St Etienne.
Brentford did two bits of transfer business in January. Emiliano Marcondes signed from Nordsjaelland, with Chiedozie Ogbene joining from Irish club Limerick.