It's destination Deepdale for Thomas Frank and The Bees tomorrow for our latest Sky Bet Championship outing. Preston North End's pre-season hopes of a top six finish may be long gone but they will be keen to finish strong under interim boss Frankie McAvoy heading into the 2021/22 campaign. Find out all the info ahead of tomorrow's game below.
After four top half finishes in five seasons, Preston North End looked to have a solid foundation to build on under Alex Neil this term and aim for that elusive top six spot.
However, that promotion push never materialised with Preston heading into tomorrow's game anchored in the bottom half of the table.
North End were wildly inconsistent to start the season. They won 11, lost 12, and drew just two of their opening 25 games before a difficult January Transfer Window threatened to derail their campaign completely. Eight players left with regulars Darnell Fisher, Ben Pearson, and Ben Davies all departing in the final 72 hours of the window.
In their absence, North End won just two of their next 11, a run which saw Neil pay with his job at the start of the March international break.
Frankie McAvoy, a coach under Neil previously, took over First Team affairs and has made a bright start in charge. He held league leaders Norwich City to a 1-1 draw on Good Friday and followed that up with a 1-0 win at Swansea City on Easter Monday.
A lack of firepower has cost North End this season. They've won just five of their 20 home games this term, not helped by being the fourth-lowest scorers on home soil in the division (16). They do have the sixth best home defensive record in the league, conceding 19 in their 20 games, but have conceded the first goal a league high 12 times at home in 2020/21.
Frankie McAvoy was a long-time assistant to Alex Neil at Hamilton Academicals, Norwich City, and then Preston North End. He won promotion to the Scottish Premiership through a Play-Off final with Hamilton and again won a Play-Off as Norwich won promotion to the English Premier League in 2015.
Initially an academy coach, the Scot worked his way up the coaching structure at Hamilton to first team coach, with a time as academy director. He spent a decade at The Accies before his move south of the border to the Canaries.
Two further years followed at Carrow Road before leaving alongside Alex, who he joined at North End. Following Neil's departure, McAvoy was appointed as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
Thomas Frank confirmed to the press earlier that we will still be without Henrik Dalsgaard (knee), Rico Henry (hamstring), Josh Dasilva (hip), Shandon Baptiste (knee), and Luka Racic (back) for tomorrow's game.
Joe Rafferty and Greg Cunningham are both out for North End while Daniel Johnson, Sean Maguire and Anthony Gordon (all calf) face late decisions over their involvement.
HOW TO FOLLOW
There is no VIP access for Season Ticket Holders and Premium Seat Members who froze their tickets for Saturday's game.
The only way to see us in action is with a £10 match pass (£7 international fans)