Preston North End are preparing for their next Championship fixture against Derby County this weekend and boss Frankie McAvoy has revealed on the club’s Twitter account that they may be without two first-team players.
The Lilywhites have been a hard team to beat so far this year but they’ve also struggled to turn some draws into wins. In fact, the club have drawn five of their last six league games and haven’t won a tie since the end of August.
However, after a loss to QPR just before the international break, they’ll be raring to get stuck into club football again this weekend to try and finally get back to winning ways. One disappointing factor though is that boss Frankie McAvoy has revealed they will be without summer signing Ali McCann and last year’s first-choice striker Ched Evans.
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Evans provides a decent option if needed off the bench – and has proven he can score PNE too over his time with them last season – and McCann has looked extremely bright since his move so for both to be sidelined is a blow.
They’ll also remain without Matthew Olosunde, who was another signing that was picked up in the summer but has been yet to feature for them in the league because of an injury.
There is some good news for Preston though and that is that McAvoy did reveal that Sean Maguire – who has been a mainstay in the side this campaign thanks to his work up-front with the in-form Emil Riis – Tom Barkhuizen and Patrick Bauer will all be back in contention.
Maguire has been an ever present, so his fitness is reassuring for the club’s fans, while Barkhuizen’s pace is always threatening whenever he starts for the Lilywhites. Bauer has also proven to be a rock in the heart of their five-man defence since his return to action from being sidelined – so PNE will still be hopeful of picking up a good result despite these setbacks against Derby.
Ali McCann is the biggest blow for Preston North End when you consider how good he has looked in midfield for them. The player was just starting to get more regular action too, so for him to now have to miss games will dampen the mood slightly at Deepdale.
However, with Sean Maguire potentially available and Patrick Bauer in contention, the Lilywhites will feel they still have a strong enough squad to dispatch of Derby. They’ll just be hoping that the former St Johnstone man finds fitness again sooner rather than later and can get back amongst the games.