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Match Preview

 

Posted Fri 27 Feb 15

MATCH PREVIEW: Latics Host Lilywhites

Oldham Athletic start life under caretaker manager Dean Holden at home to Preston North End tomorrow in Sky Bet League One.

After Lee Johnson left the club to take up the manager's role at Barnsley, followed by assistant Tommy Wright, Holden and Adam Lockwood were placed in temporary charge of the club.

Their first task is to get a positive result from Saturday's game with Preston North End who sit comfortably in the play-off positions.

Athletic head into the game without a victory in two games after losing to Colchester United and Leyton Orient.

Previously, Latics had recorded back-to-back victories over Scunthorpe United and high-flying Swindon Town.

Holden's men currently sit in ninth place, two points outside the play-off positions so they know a victory could put them back in there.

North End visit SportsDirect.com Park looking for their fifth successive league victory, only losing to Manchester United this month.

Simon Grayson, who has been in charge of the Lilywhites for two years, has propelled his side into the play-off positions and are pushing for automatic promotion.

The sides have already met twice this season with both ending in victory for tomorrow's visitors.

Bailey Wright struck the only goal of the game in the reverse league fixture as Preston were victorious, despite Latics dominating large parts of possession. 

November's meeting was a closer-affair and goals from Dominic Poleon and Danny Philliskirk turned the game on its head as Scott Laird gave them a half time lead.

Preston struck back in the final ten minutes of the game and went on to win the penalty shootout after former goalkeeper Neil Etheridge ballooned his spot kick over the crossbar ending Latics' Wembley dreams for another season.

Latics have a few injury worries ahead of the game with Joseph Mills and George Elokobi definitely missing with calf injuries.

Conor Wilkinson and Amari Morgan-Smith remain injured but both have resumed light training and could be back in contention in a couple of weeks.

Mike Jones returns to the squad after recovering from illness.

Tom Clarke is a fitness concern for Grayson's side but could play some part in the game. 

Jermaine Beckford and Andy Little are also injury doubts but could return to the fold tomorrow.

Speaking about the clash, caretaker manager, Dean Holden, said: "It's a great game to start with. I went to watch them the other night against Walsall and everyone knows what you're going to get with them.

"They are very organised and have a very good manager who has loads of experience. They are strong, physical and are a good working unit who know their own jobs so it's going to be a tough game. 

"The players need to go out there and carry on the hard work they have already done. We need to carry that work on for the promotion push."

LAST MEETING
November 2014 - Johnstone's Paint Trophy                
Oldham Athletic (Poleon, Philliskirk) 2-2 Preston North End
(Preston won 10-9 on penalties)

LAST MATCHES
Saturday, February 21 - Sky Bet League One                     
Leyton Orient 3-0 Oldham Athletic

Tuesday, February 24 - Sky Bet League One         
Preston North End (Johnson) 1-0 Walsall

TOP SCORERS                            
Jonathan Forte (14) - (14) Joe Garner

MAN TO WATCH
Daniel Johnson - A player familiar to Latics' supporters, Johnson has scored two goals in his first two games with the Lilywhites. The 22-year-old netted three times for Latics earlier in the season, including goals against Crawley Town and two against Rochdale. 

ODDS
Oldham Athletic: 21/10 Draw: 23/10 Preston North End: 13/10 

Sky Bet have made Preston North End favourites for tomorrow's game.

COVERAGE
If you can't make it to the game, make sure to follow live text updates via The Wall and Twitter from the fixture.                            

Tune in to Latics Player as it brings you full live commentary of the game and brings all post match reaction after the game.