NIGEL Clough’s men will go into today’s game full of confidence after picking up their first away win of the season on Thursday against Rotherham United.The Brewers boss was handed a boost before Thursday as two of his five injured players were fit enough for the match day squad, although Will Miller, Hamza Choudhury and Ben Turner all missed out on the squad of 18.
Again for Nigel Clough it will be touch and go with some of his injured players heading into today’s game, although he does expect John Brayford to recover in time from a nasty head injury.
Nigel Clough said: “John got checked out last night and got the all clear. He was pretty dazed after the collision and if there’s one lad you don’t want to be hit by then it’s Chris O’Grady.”
Jamie Ward should also be fit for Monday after only making the bench on Thursday.
Clough said: “To get the three points without having to put him out there gives him a better chance of playing against Preston and Watford.
“Ben Turner (hamstring) we are still not sure about yet. Kyle McFadzean is carrying a knock - when you get to this stage of the season, the majority of the players are carrying something.”
The reverse fixture at Deepdale ended in a 1-1 draw, and Nigel Clough believes Preston have enough quality to finish in the play-off positions, even if they are without the suspended Jermaine Beckford.
"(At their place) We caught them first half and played extremely well and were very unlucky with the equaliser we conceded with Ben Turner clearing it onto their player. I think they are one of the better sides in the league and a team who could easily finish in the top six.
"Even without Beckford they have quality players who can hurt you. It’s one less we have to worry about but there’s plenty more to watch out for."
Oliver Langford will be the man in the middle for Monday’s Championship clash. The West Midlands-based referee has shown 72 yellow cards in his 23 games this season, that’s an average of just over 3 yellows per game. Langford hadn’t shown a red yard up until 25 November where then he shown four consecutive yellow yards in high-scoring games.
Mr Langford has officiated Burton Albion once this season, when Nigel Clough’s men went down 2-0 to Ipswich Town at Portman Road back in October where three yellow cards were shown.
Simon Grayson and his coaching team will have some recovery work to do as they play twice in three days. The Lilywhites faced Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, and now have the task of facing the Brewers tomorrow.
He said: "It's very difficult to play two games in three days, some players will be able to do it but some won't so we will pick a team accordingly.
"We feel as though we have a strong squad that can cope with the demands of it and whatever team and personnel we play, we will be giving everything to get a result on both Saturday and Monday."