Preston North End welcome Russell Martin’s Swansea City to Deepdale on Saturday looking for back to back home wins.
Lilywhites boss Frankie McAvoy has given an injury update on some key players in his pre-match press conference this morning.
North End lost their opening three games of the Championship season and therefore last Saturday’s 1-0 home win over newly promoted Peterborough United was a welcome relief.
Frankie McAvoy was promoted from caretaker to permanent after some impressive form at the back end of 2020/21 so the pressure was building, the Lilywhites will be happy to see Josh Harrop, Joe Rodwell-Grant and Ben Whiteman in contention to start at the weekend. However Tom Barkhuizen is out until after the international break.
The manager said: “Alan Browne should be out of isolation on Friday night so he could come in to contention, and Joe Rodwell-Grant could come back in to the fold hopefully after his illness, which wasn’t covid related.
“This weekend is too early for him (Barkhuizen) with the protocols but he will be available to train with the group next week… “He (Harrop) was missing the other night with a niggle so that’s why he wasn’t involved but he should be back in training today.”
The match will also come too soon for summer signing Matthew Olosunde, who will be in better shape for a return in early September.
McAvoy continued: “He (Whiteman) also had a little niggle the other night but he should be back in contention for this weekend.”
The jury is still out on McAvoy’s credentials as a Championship manager, however he is keeping a cool head amidst a tricky start and will be confident going into Saturday’s battle with Russell Martin.
Alan Browne will give the side a massive boost, the versatile Irishman has been a stalwart of a positive last few seasons at the club and contributes a lot going forward.
Whiteman’s absence in midweek being just a ‘niggle’ is also a relief, the 25-year-old has been a key man since arriving from Doncaster Rovers in January and will have an important role to play as North End look to pull away from the early season relegation conversation.
Harrop will add further spark in offense, such that is needed in the absence of all action Barkhuizen, Swansea have struggled in playing out from the back this term and therefore McAvoy may look to press them high up the pitch in pursuit of a win that would change their momentum going into the international break.