PNE Preview VS Sheffield United

Alex Neil’s men suffered their fourth defeat in their last five Championship games last time out against league leaders Leeds United in a dominant 3-0 victory for the opposition. In fact, North End have only won one league game this season which was the first of the campaign against QPR, resulting in Preston fans to be worried and frustrated at the lacklustre start.

Alan Browne speaks out after PNE’s fifth defeat of the season

Preston’s number eight had missed the clubs previous game against Reading due to an injury he picked up during the most recent international break and was not set to be risked for the Leeds game making his place in the starting XI a surprise. The midfielder himself said:

“I wanted to be out there, I wanted to play. If we were doing well I would probably leave it a week but because we are struggling I wanted to get back as quickly as I could. I’ll admit I wasn’t good enough at Leeds.”

It was Browne who decided to comment on the current situation at North End with several honest posts on Twitter speaking to the fans, he had the following to say:

“Not happening for us at the moment but we just haven’t been good enough to a man! Doing everything we can to turn things around.. need the fans to stick with us through this difficult period and believe in the squad we’ve got”

“We’re eight games in, it’s a long season and there’s plenty of time to turn things around. We as players are as frustrated as anyone but a lot of the negativity at the moment doesn’t help”

“Completely agree we’ve not been good enough and you have every right to have a go but right now people pointing the finger isn’t gonna do us much good.. It’s down to us at the end of the day to fix it but we could do with a lift from the fans aswell”

There isn’t much comparison to last season’s PNE performances

With the Lilywhites currently sitting in 23rd position and Saturday’s opponents in the top six, it does not look good for Preston especially in comparison to last season, this being why many of the fans are so frustrated.

2017/18 statistics:

Goals scored after eight Championship games: 9

Goals conceded after eight Championship games: 3

Goal difference: +6

2018/19 statistics:

Goals scored after eight Championship games: 7

Goals conceded after eight Championship games: 15

Goal difference: -8

Team news:

PNE

Despite admitting that he probably wasn’t 100% fit to face Leeds on Tuesday night, Alan Browne should be in better condition to face Sheffield United, although Paul Gallagher was rested until the final 10 minutes at Elland Road so he along with Ryan Ledson, who returns from suspension, will be other midfield options.

Although, Ben Pearson is still out suspended for North End, whilst Billy Bodin and Sean Maguire are still out injured, Callum Woods has also not yet returned to the match day squad after the injury he picked up against Morecambe and is ruled out again with his injury seemingly worse than it first seemed.

Sheffield United

Midfielder John Fleck returned in midweek for Sheffield United’s 0-0 draw against Birmingham meaning he will be available to face North End.

Former Preston midfielder Paul Coutts played in an U23 game for Sheffield United recently after a broken leg has kept him out for a year, although he is not set to be ready for the weekend.

Prediction:

Sheffield United 1-1 Preston

Picture Credit: Preston North End/ Dave Kendall

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