Date: 15th March 2010 at 8:32pm
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OWLS boss Alan Irvine returns to Deepdale just a matter of months after being sacked as Lilywhites boss and desperate to bag crucial points to lift Wednesday away from the Championship’s bottom three.

Irvine will be keen to prove his Preston doubters wrong on his return to Lancashire, but more importantly for Wednesday, he’ll be looking for his men to continue their form which saw them bag a creditable stalemate at high-flying Swansea City at the weekend.

But Darren Ferguson’s North End will be in confident mood following their 3-2 success against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Preston also know they could do with another couple of victories to make their Championship status totally secure.

Vital Quotes:

Owls captain Darren Purse told the official SWFC website:

‘We’ve had to face three really tough away games – West Brom, Swansea and Preston are all tough places to go but confidence is buzzing around this football club at the moment and we’re looking to get a positive result from Preston.

‘Hopefully that will be three points and if that happens, it will be a great platform for us to build on with two games at home to come.’

Preston North End Team News:

Owls boss Alan Irvine will be familiar with the majority of players lining up against his side on Tuesday night but he’ll be well aware that new boss Darren Ferguson is implementing his own style of play on the Lilywhites.

Ferguson will give fitness tests Youl Mawene, Liam Chilvers and Jon Parkin but all three are rated as doubtful for the clash.

The latter two both missed Saturday’s win against Forest while Mawene picked up a groin injury in the first-half against Billy Davies’ men.

Wednesday won’t have to worry about young Manchester United star Danny Welbeck, who has returned to Old Trafford for treatment on a knee injury.

Player to watch: Chris Sedgwick

The Wednesdayite and former Rotherham United man loves playing against the Owls and Tuesday’s clash will be no different. The midfielder will look to cause the Owls defence all kinds of problems as PNE look to continue the form that saw them beat Forest at the weekend.

Wednesday Team News:

Irvine is likely to stick with the same starting eleven that bagged a creditable 0-0 draw at Swansea City at the weekend, with no fresh injury or suspension concerns for the Owls boss.

Marcus Tudgay will be pushing for a starting role after having to make do with a place on the bench in Wales, Luke Varney starting in attack.

Sean McAllister is also a concern as he recovers from a stomach injury picked up in training last Friday, while Francis Jeffers is available for selection.

Player to watch: Jermaine Johnson

Who else? There’s no surprise that the Owls’ upturn in fortunes has come with the return of JJ, and he’ll be key man again at Deepdale. As the outlet ball, JJ can cause plenty of problems at the back and Owls fans will also be hoping he has his shooting boots on.

Match Facts & Stats

Head-to-Head:

PNE wins: 40

Wednesday wins: 37

Draws: 22

Last Time Out:

Wednesday 1-2 PNE

Hillsborough, 20/10/09

In a game where Wednesday felt they deserved at least a share of the spoils, Irvine’s PNE grabbed all three. Michael Gray levelled a Neil Mellor opener before Jon Parkin netted a second-half winner.

Form:

PNE: W-D-D-W-L

Wednesday: D-L-W-L-L

Next Fixtures:

v Derby County (H) – 20/03/10

v Watford (H) – 24/03/10