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28 November 2020 Venue Vicarage Road Attendance

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Match Previews

Watford Match Preview

26 November 2020

Preston North End head to Vicarage Road for the first time in almost ten years when they take on Vladimir Ivić’s Watford this weekend.

First Team News

Watford Clash Live On iFollow PNE!

26 November 2020

It was February 2011 when the Lilywhites last locked horns with their weekend’s hosts, with Sean St. Ledger and Leon Clarke scoring in a 2-2 draw.

Since then the two sides have had periods when they were two divisions apart, but now find themselves fighting for the same aim in the Championship, to get to the top flight.

Ivic’s side, who had a goalless draw at Bristol City in midweek currently sit fifth in the table with 23 points after a solid start to the season under their new boss and with a Premier League experienced squad at their disposal, it will be another good test for Alex Neil’s injury and suspension hit squad.

Match Information
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (14/46)
Date: Saturday 28th November, kick-off 3pm
Venue: Vicarage Road
Kit: 2020/21 third ‘green’ kit – click here to buy it now!
Head To Head: PNE wins – 18; Draws – 13; Watford - 11

Team News
Where do we start?! Manager Alex Neil was without Louis Moult, Billy Bodin, Josh Earl, Ben Pearson, Ben Davies, Paul Gallagher, Josh Harrop and Andrew Hughes all through injury for the midweek clash with Blackburn.

Alan Browne picked up his fifth booking of the season in the clash with the Lancashire rivals, whilst Joe Rafferty much also sit out the game following his red card against Tony Mowbray’s men.

At the time of writing, the FA are still to hear the case relating to Darnell Fisher’s charge of violent conduct for an off the ball incident caught on camera versus Sheffield Wednesday. If he is found guilty, he will miss the game and potentially the clashes with AFC Bournemouth and Wycombe Wanderers as well.

Watford announced on Wednesday, prior to their game at Ashton Gate, that they had three first team player isolating after Covid-19 tests and they have stated that they will miss the with the Lilywhites at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Tom Cleverly was again absent for the midweek trip to the south west and he remains a doubt for the visit of North End, but Troy Deeney, who came off the bench in the second half could be set for his first start of the season.

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Match Officials
Australian referee Jarred Gillett – who was the fourth official at Deepdale on Tuesday night - will take charge of his third Preston North End game for Saturday’s match.

The Aussie joined the EFL lists in 2018/19, after taking up an educational position in Liverpool, but he has been a top class official in his home country’s A League for many years.

He took charge of his first Championship game at the end of that season and joined the Select Group Two list in 2019/20. This season he has officiated ten games, issuing 36 yellow and two red cards, including four cautions in Watford’s goalless draw at Sheffield Wednesday in mid-September.

His first trip to Deepdale was over the last Christmas period when he took charge of our last game of 2019, against Reading, as well as the club’s 5,000th league game against Derby County back in July.

Jarred will be assisted by Philip Dermott and Robert Hyde, with Adrian Quelch acting as the fourth official.

Match Coverage
North End fans can watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £10 match pass available now.

Jonathan Breeze and former North End defender Paul Sparrow are on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from Vicarage Road from 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon.

Click here now to sign up for a match pass

Linked Stories
Alex Neil: “We Have To Go With A Real Determination”: Preston North End manager Alex Neil is expecting a tough test on Saturday, believing that the teams that came down from the Premier League in the summer are the three strongest squads in the division. Click here for the interview.

A Match To Remember: The Lilywhites picked up three points on the road in Hertfordshire back in 2003 when current Burnley boss Sean Dyche saw red! Click here for the details.

Paul Huntington Looking To Bounce Back: Preston North End centre half Paul Huntington is looking for the Lilywhites to give an immediate response as they head to Watford this weekend. Click here for Hunts’ thoughts.

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Match Reports

Watford 4 Preston North End 1

28 November 2020

Goals from Domingos Quina, a Troy Deeney penalty, Nathaniel Chalobah and Joao Pedro gave Watford the points at Vicarage Road.

North End did narrow the deficit at 2-0 when Tom Barkhuizen scored his fourth goal of the season, but Vladimir Ivic’s side grabbed two quick-fire goals to take it away from Alex Neil’s men.

Bens, Davies and Pearson both returned to the starting line-up for the Lilywhites, two of five changes, with Brad Potts, Jordan Storey and Sean Maguire also included in a 3-5-2 formation.

And they started brightly, a third minute chance saw Maguire drive a shot in from 25 yards, that was tipped over by Ben Foster for the first corner. Skipper Daniel Johnson’s cross found Storey, but his shot went wide of the right-hand post.

Soon after, a brilliant move saw Tom Barkhuizen – playing at left wing back - find Johnson, who in turn found Maguire. The Irishman pulled the ball back to Potts on the edge of the box and he curled an effort an inch wide of the right-hand post from 20 yards.

But the hosts took the lead on nine minutes with their first attempt as a ball in from the right from Jeremy Ngakia found Domingos Quina, who poked in at the back post inside the six-yard box.

Just after the half’s mid-point, James Garner was perhaps lucky not to be red carded for standing on Potts. From the resulting free-kick on the right from Johnson, it was headed down by Patrick Bauer and then the ball came back to him and Foster managed to smother at the German’s feet, as he blasted goalwards in the left corner of the six-yard box.

But seven minutes into the second half, the home side were awarded a penalty. Jordan Storey was adjudged to have brought down Ismaila Sarr, with captain Deeney smashing the spot kick down the middle to double their lead.

North End were back in it just two minutes later as Barkhuizen halved the deficit. He did superbly out on the left wing, nutmegging Sarr, before checking back inside and firing from 30 yards off the back of Garner, flat-footing Foster and ending up in the bottom left-hand corner.

The Hornets though made it three just three minutes after as Nathaniel Chalobah exchanged a one-two with Troy Deeney and fired into the bottom left-hand corner on the half-volley from 15 yards out.

North End should have been awarded a penalty just two minutes later as Emil Riis was brought down when through on goal – the replays showed it was a clear penalty with Christian Kabasele going across the back of the Danish U21 striker.

It was four to the Hornets when a Garner corner from the right was flicked on by Craig Cathcart and Joao Pedro poked home at the back post from just a yard out.

Tom Bayliss came off the bench and his first touch was a header from Potts' left-wing cross that Foster had to be alert to save, with the Lilywhites still pushing hard, but they were unable to narrow the lead further.

Watford line-up: Foster, Ngakia, Deeney (c) (Perica, 71), Chalobah, Cathcart (Sierralta, 88), Garner (Phillips, 88), Gray (Pedro, 30), Quina, Femenia (Wilmot, 71), Sarr, Kabasele. Subs not used: Bachmann, Troost-Ekong, Navarro, Crichlow.

PNE line-up: Rudd, Storey, Bauer, Davies (Huntington, 82), Sinclair, Potts, Pearson (Ledson, 65), Johnson (c) (Bayliss, 79), Barkhuizen, Riis (Stockley, 79), Maguire. Subs not used: Ripley, Holland-Wilkinson, Baxter, O’Reilly, Coulton.

Referee: Mr J Gillett.

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