It’s quite incredible how our recent run – 10 points from a possible 12 – has the ability to transform Boro’s fortunes. The bottom 10 is separated by just eight points at the moment, so it’s maybe not that surprising that a string of results can have a massive impact on how you feel about things come Sunday (or Wednesday) morning. Now that Boro’ have hauled themselves to the cusp of survival, now ain’t the time for us to be slowing down.
Our 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers at the weekend was as must win as they come, even if no-one was going to admit it. But this one against Preston North End is a whole different kettle of fish and one of the stiffest tests we reckon we’ll face between now and the end of the season. Our opponents tonight have lost just once in 2014 (at leaders Wolves) and are unbeaten against us in five outings, scoring nine in the last three alone.
Preston also have the second best away record versus teams from the lower half of League One, winning seven and drawing two of those fixtures. If you’re looking for a defeat, you’ll be waiting a fair while. But let’s not ignore the fact that we’re in a much better place, when compared to the turn of the year. We’ve hauled ourselves up the league table by picking up places on the form table – at home, we’re now seventh in the division overall.
We’ll also have some individual milestones to celebrate tonight. It’d be a huge surprise for all concerned if Jon Ashton and Luke Freeman miss out on a starting place, so you’ll get to see them chalking up their 200th and 100th start respectively. Injury news makes us think that we won’t see Filipe Morais at the start of the game, but it’ll be 50 starts up if he is able to defy medical science. There is, however, one enforced change with John Mousinho unavailable.
Well then, what’s your thinking? For a resurgent Boro’ to come out on top against Preston, we’ll need to overcome our current record against them; our opponents’ form versus lower placed oiks; and the fact that Boro’ have never won a game on this day in history. That’s no biggie really though, is it? After all, what goes in our favour is that it’s a Tuesday night. It’s under lights. And it’s at the Lamex – all tried and tested ingredients for a happy Wednesday morning?
Here’s What You Need To Know:
[expand title=”WE’VE MET BEFORE…”]
|14 Sep 2013||A||Sky Bet League One||0-3|
|09 Mar 2013||A||npower League One||0-2|
|10 Nov 2012||H||npower League One||1-4|
|09 Apr 2012||H||npower League One||1-1|
|10 Dec 2011||A||npower League One||0-0|
[expand title=”REFEREE WATCH”]
If you cast your mind back, you’ll remember that Andy D’Urso was meant to officiate our home game against Gillingham last month but ended up being replaced at the 11th hour by Stuart Attwell. But nothing is going to be stopping him from reffing his fourth Boro’ match – and first since we were held to a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane back in April 2012*. (*Obviously, BoroGuide cannot guarantee that – we have no control over world events).
If you were wondering what Mr D’Urso has been up to since not showing up to ref that Gillingham game, he caused a bit of a kerfuffle between Exeter City and Morecambe – and we apologise for linking to a Daily Mail article. That is one of EIGHT red cards he’s shown this term, and one of two he’s brandished in the last three games. We think Boro’ and Preston may be wise to be on their best behaviour on Tuesday night so that red card stays hidden.
• This season for Andy D’Urso:
Games: 26 — Yellow: 75 (2.88pg), Red: 8
• Our record under Andy D’Urso:
P3 W0 D2 L1 F4 A5 — Yellow: 2, Red: 1
[expand title=”FIFA 14 VERDICT”]
Day; Obeng, Dembele, Ashton, Hartley; Akins, Heslop, Smith, Freeman; Charles, Zoko
Just the two changes for us from the team that started against Tranmere. We can’t make use of Moose, so in came Hessie. And Peter Hartley returned to provide some steel down at left back. The game itself was a pretty cagey affair – Boro’ started brightly but soon got pinned back a bit, and then things became a little more ragged in the second half. We did rattle the frame of the goal through Luke Freeman, but neither team were able to win this one.
FT: Stevenage 0-0 Preston North End
[expand title=”BOOKIE BASHING”]
Sign up with Titan Bet and get a risk-free £10 wager – it’s that simple! If you’re looking for options, you’ll find 71 markets open on Stevenage v Preston North End.
For a team with such a formidable record this season, Preston’s scoring record on the road has been modest. Only Sheffield United and Walsall average fewer goals away, with a mere 39 in 18 games. Boro’, however, aren’t exactly free-flowing at home themselves. And yet, we don’t expect this to be a completely quiet affair. In fact, we’re more likely to look to Over 2.5 Goals rather than Under – that’s priced at evens.
But there seem to be some apprehension that Boro’ could upset the applecart once again, with a Preston win coming in at a reasonable 6/5. A home win is 11/5, while the draw is 23/10. The most common Boro’ home league wins are 2-0 and 3-1, priced at 18s and 33s respectively, while the most common Preston away league wins is – coincidentally – the same as our most common home league defeats: 1-0 (13/2).
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