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Opposition View: Preston North End

16 September 2016

What to expect from tomorrow's opponents Preston with the Lancashire Evening Post's Dave Seddon

Six points from seven games, what sort of start has it been for North End?

League wise it has been a quite a slow start, losing five of the first six before Tuesday night. All of the defeats were by a single goal so Preston haven’t been getting hammered but they haven’t quite been clicking either. They played quite well last Saturday in a 2-1 defeat to Barnsley and in the second-half there were signs that they were getting on the right track. The team had a slow start to last season as well so it might just be something about this squad.

Aiden McGeady was the summer signing that caught the eye of the rest of the division, what have fans made of Preston's transfer business this summer?

Preston brought in ten players this summer. Seven of them came in during pre-season before Alex Baptiste, Aiden McGeady, and Marnick Vermijl all joined on deadline day. Vermijl was here on loan last season and the club were interested in him all summer but needed to wait until Sheffield Wednesday lowered their demands for him. McGeady has been signed on a season-long loan from Everton. He played very well last Saturday on his debut and scored. The fans wanted to see signings made and some are happy but others think there needs to be more quality up front having lost Joe Garner two weeks into the season. Even though he only scored six goals last season, work rate was a big part of this game so some fans were surprised another striker didn't come in. However, there are four or five on the books and Jermaine Beckford is fit again. Fans are beginning to wonder whether the lack of goals is down to creativity not finishing so there is a lot expected from McGeady and Ben Pringle to create.

11th last season represented a very impressive first season back in the second tier, what are the targets this campaign?

Last season most people were just targeting survival but by February the team was safe so the targets moved on a bit. They performed the best of the three promoted clubs last season. This season the aim is to match or do better than last season. The division is changing with the amount of money that is now in the league but you have to ask if it is better quality coming in or whether it’s the same talent at a higher price. If they can finish 11th again this season that would be a great achievement.

We have won six of the last seven meetings between the two sides, how will Preston approach Saturday to try and end that run?

Our recent run against Brentford has been terrible. We last won against you in 2011 when Phil Brown was manager so that shows how long ago it was! Our record at Griffin Park also isn’t great. Saying that North End come into the game with a bit of confidence from Tuesday night. Last season they picked up more points away from home than at home. Simon Grayson has said that you play a good expansive game so they will look to keep it tight early on and play on the counter. At this early stage of the season a draw wouldn’t be sniffed at by most fans.

Who should Bees fans watch out for tomorrow in the North End line-up?

Callum Robinson has been our best player so far this season. He had three loan spells with Preston before signing in the summer. He is a real creative spark and can play down the left wing or in a central position. He has got pace and scored on Tuesday. Paul Gallagher signed a new contract this week and is the man who runs the midfield, dropping deep to pick up the ball. McGeady can make things happen and he is the one who can make Preston tick.

Finally, could we have a quick score prediction?

I am going to sit on the fence and go for a 1-1 draw.

Can we make it six straight wins against Preston when Simon Grayson's side visit Griffin Park tomorrow afternoon? Tickets for the match are on General Sale now, adults from £23, Juniors £6.

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