It’s an all Lancashire affair on Saturday when Preston, looking for their first league win since the opening day, face a Wigan side currently sitting in 7th place.
Plenty to learn from the Villa game
The Lilywhites have now conceded two or more goals in 10 of their last 11 league games after letting in three at Villa Park in a six goal thriller.
After conceding two poor goals in the first half, PNE dominated the second period after Chester was sent off, with all three substitutes; Paul Gallagher, Daniel Johnson and Louis Moult scoring to put Alex Neil’s side ahead.
But as was typical of North End recently, they conceded soon after, with Aston Villa equalising on 90+1, only to have a potential winning penalty saved by Chris Maxwell with what was the last touch of the game.
This now means that in five of Preston’s last six games, they have conceded within five minutes of scoring a goal of their own, the only one where this didn’t happen was against Leeds, where they actually failed to score in a 3-0 defeat.
The second half offensive display and the general determination from the team should give the players confidence coming into the game on Saturday, where they will look to put that statistic to bed.
On Monday it was announced that midfielder Josh Harrop will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury that he picked up in the 3-2 defeat against West Brom.
Still recovering from a similar injury, Billy Bodin will only feature toward the end of the season if he does at all.
Callum Woods has yet to return from the injury he sustained in the Carabao Cup victory over Morecambe in August.
Sean Maguire, who has yet to feature this season is set for a return sooner rather than later with Alex Neil hinting that he will be ready after the international break to face Hull.
Although some feel that he may have a chance to feature in the squad on Saturday, PNE will be ensuring they do not rush him back, especially considering his team mates have scored nine goals in the last four games.
Predicted Wigan XI:
Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Hughes
Barker, Johnson, Robinson
Preston 2-1 Wigan
It’s becoming very difficult to predict North End, with the amount of goals they are conceding but also scoring as of late.
I am hoping after a positive second half display in midweek, the likes of Nmecha and Johnson can show consistency and perform again offensively and the defence can finally have an improved performance in order to get the Lilywhites their second win of the season.
Failing to do so will see PNE going into the second international break after 12 Championship games with just one win, compared to five victories and 21 points this time last year.