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2 tweaks Frankie McAvoy could make to his Preston team ahead of Cardiff fixture

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It looked like Preston North End had finally turned a corner this year, with the side storming to a superb 2-1 win over league leaders Bournemouth.

The Cherries were unbeaten in the Championship up to that point and it was a real statement of intent from PNE that they were not to be taken lightly.

They contained Scott Parker’s side and then managed to look more bright and clinical in front of goal than them, as they bagged goals through Ben Whiteman and Ali McCann to seal the win.

Before that, they’d even seen off play-off challenging Luton. It therefore looked as though the Lilywhites were finally back firing after some disappointing results and plenty of stalemates.

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However, the club crashed back down to reality last weekend, as they were hammered 3-0 by Nottingham Forest.

It’s left the side in 17th place and they’ll want to get back to winning ways once the international break comes to an end so that they can start to look up the table rather than down it.

In order to do so, boss Frankie McAvoy may have to consider a refresh of his squad for the game against the Bluebirds and have another look at availability of his players after a week of rest and recuperation for them all.

Here then, are two tweaks that the boss could make to his PNE team ahead of their game against Nottingham Forest.

1. Play a striker alongside Emil Riis from the outset

Emil Riis has looked an exciting prospect in attack for Preston so far this season and has proven he has the clinical finishing touch in front of goal, as well as the pace and vision to create things for his teammates too.

However, when working up front on his own – or with a midfielder as a partner as he did last week – he has often failed to hit the same levels and can look isolated on his own up top.

Against Forest for example, Riis had the least touches of ANY outfield player to have played 90 minutes. Why? Because of a lack of support.

When Riis has played alongside Sean Maguire this campaign, he has looked a whole different beast. He has caused issues for the opposition and bagged regularly. Against Luton he played alongside the Irishman and nearly had a hat-trick. Against Bournemouth, he didn’t find the back of the net but he created the most chances of anyone on the field and had an assist.

Contrast that with the tie against Forest and you can see the clear difference that having that striking support has to his levels of performance. If McAvoy can then, he should be starting Maguire – or at least a striker – alongside the Denmark man up front.

2. Let Alan Browne play behind the strikers over Daniel Johnson or Brad Potts

If Alan Browne is back to fitness after missing the Nottingham Forest game – which he could be given a week’s rest – then he should be straight back in the team for the Cardiff game.

After a slow start to the campaign for the Irishman, he has finally found his feet playing further up the field behind the two strikers.

There is no room for him in the centre of the field – Ali McCann has been a revelation for North End since joining and Ben Whiteman has made the spot next to him his own – but given the chance to play in attacking midfield over Brad Potts and Daniel Johnson, he has looked a lot sharper.

Against Luton for example, Browne was the most accurate passer on the field to have played over 45 minutes – showing his ability to dictate the play from further up the field and help his two strikers in front of him to thrive.

PNE have a lot of options in that area but with the Irishman looking the most lively of the options in recent weeks, he should return to the side if he is fit for now.


Writer for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 tweaks Frankie McAvoy could make to his Preston team ahead of Cardiff fixture

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