Preston hold a Football League record in attempting to gain promotion via the play-offs, failing all nine times. Can they achieve it this time around or can they move a step closer to securing promotion to the Championship automatically with a Deepdale win tonight?
Both Orient and Preston reached the play-offs last season, however it was the Londoners who can consider themselves the unluckier of the two, reaching the finals at Wembley and losing to Rotherham United.
Brentford and Wolves sealed the top two positions at the end of last season and Preston will be desperate to clinch one of the two places at the end of the season, something which we feel that they could feasibly achieve.
North End have proven to be one of the better teams in League One, however they need to start winning a few more games and this evening’s match will be an opportunity to do just that against an Orient side which hasn’t been outside the bottom ten in the table since August.
As such, it is hardly a surprise that the Londoners start this match as firm outsiders at 19/4. They have been inconsistent throughout the first half of the season and they come into this match on the back of a 1-0 reversal against Fleetwood, a result which sent them closer to the relegation zone.
Orient sit outside the dreaded drop zone purely on goal difference and a defeat at Deepdale tonight could send the troubled side deeper into danger. North End won the reverse fixture to the tune of 2-0 at Brisbane Road and we fully expect a repeat of this performance this evening.
The hosts handled last season’s play-off disappointment extremely well, maintaining the core of a side which had been successful throughout the campaign and they look good to clinch the points tonight against an Orient side who look possibilities for relegation.
The loss of top scorer Joe Garner was a major blow for the home side, however they responded in style with nine matches unbeaten and six clean sheets. They have been extremely strong in defence and will be looking to add to their clean-sheet tally tonight. We’ll certainly be backing such an outcome at 9/5 at Paddy Power.
With Orient suffering defeat in all but their five of their last fourteen outings, we’ll be expecting a thorough defeat by North End this time around with a clean sheet into the bargain.
Our betting tips
Preston to win 3-0 – William Hill 14/1
Preston win-to-nil – Paddy Power 9/5