Date:Thursday April 27 2006
Ben Cullen concludes his assessment of Palace's potential playoof oponenets. Should Palace be afraid of Preston?'
Preston North End
P 45 W 19 D 20 L 6 Pts 77
Top Scorer: Dave Nugent 10
Form: DWWWWW (16pts)
There’s no doubt that Preston are the form team heading into the playoffs. Their tight style has brought them into the playoffs for the second straight season and they currently stand as the league’s meanest defence, having conceded only 29 goals in their 44 games. On top of this only Reading have lost fewer games. Preston are also the only team to be undefeated against all their potential opponents although they must still play Leeds at Deepdale.
However Preston have struggled for goals this season and Dave Nugent is currently trying to comeback from a broken foot sustained against Ipswich in March. Brett Ormerod has stepped into Nugent’s place and secured Preston’s playoff berth against Wolves before a concussion put him out of contention for the near future. The injuries mean that Preston are left to rely on Danny Dichio and Patrick Agyemang who have only 9 goals in 41 starts and 41 substitute appearances between them.
Preston have experience of the big game, having lost to West Ham at Cardiff last year and they are in great form. But with Nugent and Ormerod out they have little fire-power up front although this has not stopped them from going on a great run to secure their playoff spot. This, in combination with their mean defence makes them the team to avoid in my opinion.
This article was written by Ben Cullen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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