A look ahead to tonight's Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie at Deepdale
Vale travel to Preston for their second round Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Deepdale this evening knowing they can expect another tough fixture.
Vale face an in-form North End outfit, though both sides are likely to make slight changes to their respective starting elevens.
Vale had a bye in the first round, but Preston boss Simon Grayson did make changes for his side’s game in the previous round against Shrewsbury Town.
Former Vale striker Jordan Hughill netted the only goal of the game to put the home side into the hat for the next round – his first goal for the Lilywhites – but he has since suffered a long-term injury and will not be playing tonight.
How many changes Grayson will make remains to be seen of course, but his club have plenty of quality right through their squad and Rob page is expecting a difficult game no matter what he Preston boss decides.
As for Page, he will tweak things slightly after assessing whether or not any of his players need resting following a difficult second half against Fleetwood with ten men.
Obviously when you are down to ten men for forty five minutes plus, you have to work even harder and although Page will want to go out and win the game tonight, he knows that the home game against Yeovil Town at the weekend has to be his priority.
Two changes he will be making, of course, are forced upon him. Jordan Slew is now serving a suspension after picking up a red card on Saturday, and defender Ryan McGivern is on international duty with Northern Ireland.
On loan defender Stéphane Zubar looks certain to make his Vale debut at the back, with possibly Ben Williamson taking the place of fellow striker Slew.
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There will be a full match report on the official website moments after the final whistle, with player and manager interviews to come later.
A match gallery (photos courtesy of Gerard Austin) will also appear on the site soon.