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Van den Berg starts: The predicted Preston North End XI to face Liverpool tonight

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After a dismal defeat to their bitterest rivals at the weekend, the last thing that Preston North End would want to be doing is facing one of the world’s best teams in a cup match tonight.

That’s exactly what is happening though as Liverpool will be welcomed to Deepdale this evening in a Carabao Cup last, where the winner will advance to the last eight of the competition.

It will be a much-changed Liverpool side from the one that completely dismantled Manchester United on Sunday, and it will be more akin to the line-up that got past Norwich in the previous round.

Quiz: Do you know what club these 28 ex-Preston North End players are playing at now?

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Bailey Wright

That means PNE will face the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez, Divock Origi and others – still a tough task to overcome but which Lilywhites will be on the pitch against them? Let’s take a look at how Frankie McAvoy may select his side.

There is scope to make changes by McAvoy but how many are actually done remains to be seen.

It’s unlikely that the Scot will deviate from his 3-5-2 formation that this season has not been so successful, especially for a clash against a team who have a lot of strength in depth at the top end of the pitch.

A place that there isn’t too much quality depth for PNE is in defence so the back five and goalkeeper will probably be stuck with, including Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg who has been given permission to play against his parent club.

The selection headache comes in midfield as Alan Browne is suspended for this after picking up a late red card against Blackpool on Saturday.

Boyhood Liverpool fan Ryan Ledson will no doubt be considered to come in but summer signing Ali McCann is also back fit following a brief injury and they could potentially play together, with Ben Whiteman also dropping out.

There’s also a decision to be made on who partners Emil Riis, with the Dane the joint-second top goalscorer in the competition with four in three outings.

Sean Maguire is back fit again following a hamstring problem and came on in the second half against Blackpool but so did Tom Barkhuizen, and McAvoy may favour the latter’s pace against Liverpool’s back-line.

Whatever line-up is chosen though it’s set to be a tough ask for PNE to advance to the quarter-finals of the competition, but they can only do their best against Klopp’s outfit.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Van den Berg starts: The predicted Preston North End XI to face Liverpool tonight

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