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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

23 December 2017 Venue Deepdale Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Preston (A)

22 December 2017

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

The busy Christmas and New Year period gets underway on Saturday as Nottingham Forest travel to Deepdale to take on Preston North End.

The Reds will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat against Bristol City with a positive performance in the North West. Mark Warburton's men can take heart from their second-half performance at Ashton Gate and look to build on that on Saturday.

Preston have performed well so far this campaign under Alex Neil, with The Lilywhites lingering just outside the top six in ninth place. 

They come into the game on a six-match unbeaten run, having won the last three including last weekend's 1-0 win over Sheffield United at Deepdale.

See below for the pre-match thoughts from the Forest camp.

Team news

Danny Fox has returned to full training and could be in contention for The Reds, although he may not be risked this weekend.

Matt Mills is a doubt having limped off with an injury in the first half of last weekend's defeat against Bristol City.

From the opposition

Preston boss Alex Neil believes The Reds will pose a strong test with their passing play, but knows his side is more than up to the challenge on Saturday.

Speaking to the club's official website, Neil said: "I think Mark has an ethos in terms of how he thinks his team should play and it's certainly not changed since he's been at Brentford or Rangers.

"It will be another challenge for us, we've played similar teams this season, the likes of Reading and teams like that, so it's not anything that we haven't faced before.

"At the moment we've got a good balance, I would like to see us score more goals if we can but we're scoring enough at the moment to win games and we are keeping clean sheets relatively well so that's a good thing as well and we want to try and keep that."

One to watch - Jordan Hugill

North End's top scorer with nine goals in all competitions, Jordan Hugill is one for the Forest defence to keep an eye on.

The powerful striker has the ability to mix it up, showing good physicality while also offering plenty of ability and has the knack of popping up with important goals, as shown with the winning strikes against QPR and Sheffield United recently.

Last visit


Tickets for the trip to Deepdale are on general sale and will be available on the day from the away ticket office next to the Bill Shankley Kop.

There is no price increase on the day and cash and card payments will be accepted.

Full details can be found here.


There will be a live broadcast of the match on iFollow Forest for international subscribers, while the usual audio commentary will also be available.

The club's official social media channels will also have full coverage, including behind the scenes content, and you can also follow the action in the Match Centre.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated: 

Norwich v Brentford (Friday, 7.45pm)
Bolton v Cardiff
Derby v Millwall
Fulham v Barnsley
Leeds v Hull
QPR v Bristol City
Reading v Burton
Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough
Sunderland v Birmingham
Wolves v Ipswich
Aston Villa v Sheffield United (5.30pm)

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Match Reports

Preston 1-1 Forest

23 December 2017

Nottingham Forest recorded their first draw of the season following a 1-1 stalemate against Preston North End at Deepdale this afternoon.

Ben Brereton opened the scoring in the second half but North End hit back with 15 minutes to play as Paul Huntington’s strike ensured the points would be shared in Lancashire.

Mark Warburton made three changes to the side beaten at Bristol City last weekend as Ben Osborn, David Vaughan and Brereton came into the team in place of Matt Mills, Andreas Bouchalakis and Tyler Walker. The fit-again Armand Traore returned to the squad and took a place on the substitutes’ bench.

The home side started brightly and Jordan Smith had to be alert to prevent them taking the lead. After the Forest goalkeeper had punched a free-kick away from inside his own six-yard area, the ball fell to Alan Browne but Smith blocked his powerfully-struck effort.

It was a cagey opening to the contest but both sides had chances midway through the half. Jordan Hugill saw a header comfortably saved by Smith after he met Paul Gallagher’s cross before Kieran Dowell’s left-wing cross was almost turned home by Daryl Murphy but the hosts were able to scramble the ball behind for a corner.

Preston had been on a good run of form and confidence was flowing for the home side as they created a golden chance on 26 minutes. Gallagher’s cross picked out an unmarked Tom Barkhuizen six yards from goal but he placed his header over Smith’s crossbar. 

David Vaughan and Liam Bridcutt were both cautioned for late challenges before Preston carved out the final chance of the first half. Callum Robinson curled a low effort towards goal from the edge of the penalty area which Smith had to turn around his left-hand post as the first half ended goalless.

Both sides struggled to get going at the start of the second half before Forest drew first blood on 58 minutes. A lightning-quick counter-attack from one end of the field to the other ended with Dowell playing Brereton through on goal and the youngster kept his head and coolly slotted the ball under the body of Chris Maxwell in the North End goal.

Warburton made a double substitution as Jamie Ward and Matty Cash replaced Brereton and Mustapha Carayol but it wasn’t enough to see his side keep their lead.

Forest failed to clear a long throw into their penalty area and, despite Smith’s best efforts, Huntington was able to lash a low shot into the corner of the net to bring North End level with 15 minutes to play.

There were no real clear-cut opportunities for either side in the closing stages of the contest as Forest held on to claim a useful point at the beginning of their busy festive period.

Forest: Smith; Lichaj, Mancienne (c), Worrall, Osborn; Bridcutt, Vaughan (Bouchalakis 84’); Brereton (Ward 62’), Dowell, Carayol (Cash 63’); Murphy

Subs not used: Henderson, Traore, McKay, Clough 

Goal: Brereton 58’

Bookings: Vaughan 31’, Bridcutt 42’, Brereton 49’, Osborn 68’ 

Preston: Maxwell; O’Connor, Huntington, Davies, Clarke (c); Gallagher, Pearson; Robinson (Horgan 59’), Browne (Harrop 62’), Barkhuizen; Hugill

Subs not used: Rudd, Boyle, Johnson, Welsh, Mavididi

Goal: Huntington 75’

Bookings: Pearson 86’, Gallagher 89' 

Referee: Scott Duncan 

Attendance: 13,481 (1,210 away)

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