Preston North-End will look to heap the pressure on Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal when they welcome the Red Devils to Deepdale this evening, with two bookies offering a massive price of 7/1 on the Red Devils to win.
The Lilywhites have already knocked out conference side Havant and Waterlooville, Shrewsbury Town, Norwich and Sheffield United but will need to make a big step in class if they are to be the Premier League’s third placed side.
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For all the criticism that is being directed at Van Gaal, one fact that is overlooked is that the club, in the middle of a transition, are on course for a cup and champions league spot, one year after finishing 7th in the table.
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While the stats appear impressive, the watching is now with United appearing unenergetic in their games, especially in their 3-1 win over Burnley midweek.
Preston boss Grayson is sure to have noted the performance and will urge his players to attack United’s defence from the oft.
Grayson has an almost fully fit squad to choose from with Jermaine Beckford the only absentee.
Former Leeds striker Beckford, a goal scorer for the Yorkshire side when they beat Manchester United in the cup in 2010, is sidelined by an ear infection.
With Beckford missing, the goal-scoring onus will fall on Joe Garner. The former Blackburn rovers forward has been out since November with a knee injury but he marked his first start since recovering with two goals against Chesterfield midweek.
United meanwhile could be without top scorer Robin Van Persie. The Dutchman is a doubt for the game with James Wilson his most likely replacement given Wayne Rooney on-going deployment in midfield.
Phil Jones is unlikely to be risked after going off injured however Daley Blind is set to feature after going in the same game with a head injury.
Michael Carrick has suffered a setback in his recovery from the calf injury he suffered at the end of last month and faces an extended spell out.