Preston North End will be looking to get off to the perfect start in the 2020/21 league campaign when they take on Swansea City this weekend.
North End finished ninth in the Championship table last term under the management of Alex Neil, and will fancy their chances of mounting a serious push for a top-six finish this time around.
They take on a Swansea City side that will be full of confidence themselves though, with Steve Cooper’s side being beaten by Brentford in their play-off semi-final last season.
Former Preston North End and Liverpool striker Neil Mellor has issued his thoughts ahead of the match, and felt as though it’s a game that his former side need to pick up three points from, with a tough run of fixtures to come in the early stages of this year’s campaign.
“Preston will want to start well and with some very tough fixtures early on against teams that will think they can get promotion in Norwich City, Stoke and Brentford to come, this opening fixture will have even more importance to get something from.”
Mellor made 150 appearances in total for Preston, and chipped in with 43 goals in a successful period with the club, before calling time on his playing career in 2012 due to injury.
The 37-year-old went on to praise Steve Cooper for the impact he has made with Swansea, but is quietly confident that his former side can pick up a win against the Swans.
“Swansea don’t have the expectation of those teams to be in the top-two, and for me Swansea have lost a couple of key players from last season in loan youngsters Rhian Brewster who scored at Deepdale and Conor Gallagher who was involved in creating the goal.
“Credit has to go to Cooper who did an incredible and very impressive job to get them into the play-offs last season.”
“It won’t be easy for Preston, but they will be looking to start their home form off like they did last season when they won the opening four league games at home.”