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Here We Go Again… Preston (A)

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Here we go again then, the Championship season is upon us, football is BACK.
Things get underway this weekend for the Wednesday as we make a trip over the Pennines to Preston North End in the season opener. We last played the Lilywhites on the opening day back in 2006, and that also came on the 5th August at Deepdale, it was a relatively drab 0-0 draw… Here’s to a decent game this time around!!!

Wednesday go into the season with the aim of promotion, nothing more, nothing less. Not through the lottery of the playoffs, straight up in one of the top two places. It’s a big ask for any club but we’re not wrong to expect it nay demand it really after two seasons where we’ve dropped at the final hurdle, it’s time to stride over that obstacle.

Preston finished last season in 11th place, some 19 points behind the Owls and after losing their manager to Sunderland some may suggest that the season ahead could be a VERY different one to what they’ve been used to. However, the fans are optimistic that the likes of Ben Pearson and Callum Robinson can continue their form of last season to push them into playoff contention.

Wednesday…..

We go into the game not being certain who will be the centre back pairing (at time of writing) with Daniel Pudil being the man who has partnered Tom Lees during pre season with Glenn Loovens AND Sam Hutchinson not being involved too much in the build up to the big kick off. However, it may just be a rouse of course, and Loovens or Hutch may well just strut their stuff out on the pitch in Lancashire like it’s all fine. All the while Connor O Grady will be itching for another chance to show his worth after a brief taste of first team action last season and in pre season too. Liam Palmer will miss out on a place this weekend in the side as he’s injured.

Midfield has always been the area of the field where we’ve been overrun with options and it’s no different. There are so many permutations for selection that it’s almost impossible to choose which four Carlos Carvalhal will choose. Boyd, Wallace, Reach, Matias, Bannan, Lee, Abdi and Jones will all be vying for a spot as they all go into the season fit and ready.

Up front, we still have an embarrassment of riches. Forestieri, Rhodes, Hooper and Fletcher would get in any side in this league and of course there’s the unpredictability of Joao, the player many love to hate, Nuhiu and the golden boy with the surname of Hirst waiting in the wings.

It’s very likely that we’ll start with a four man midfield, but how attacking that is only Carlos knows. I just hope we go into the season with more attacking vigour than we did last term.

Preston….

The hosts this weekend have made a few signings this summer, bringing in a quartet of players from the Premier League, Championship, League One and from Ireland.

Jermaine Beckford left for Bury so we won't see a scrap with his teammates and was replaced by striker, Josh Harrop, who joined from Manchester United before HE got annoyed when the manager who signed him was then to move to Sunderland. Darnell Fisher recently joined the club from Rotherham United and the Miller’s fans almost danced in the streets with joy!!! Defender Kevin O’Connor moved from Cork City along with striker, Sean Maguire and ‘keeper Declan Rudd followed his ex manager from Norwich City.

It could be argued that their main man continues to be Ben Pearson, the former Manchester United midfielder was a thorn in the side of the Owls last season. His robust style certainly didn’t endear him to the Wednesday fans, he likes a tackle and maybe too much at times. Although…. We love Hutch….

In pre season Preston have won the majority of their games, against a smattering of non league clubs, Football League clubs and a couple of top flight clubs as their opponents. With their close(ish) rivals Burnley being the only side that managed to overturn Alex Neil’s men.

Preston Fan sites….

You can find some of the Preston Fans on the following sites…..

http://www.pne-online.net/forum/forumdisp lay.php?7-PNE-Discussions
http://pebbleleague.com/

Some Stats V PNE….

If the points are to be taken by Wednesday or Preston on Saturday, it would give them the advantage in the head to head record… 41 is the number of victories for both sides, with 24 games ending in a draw.

Wednesday have a good record over the last ten games between the sides, winning four of the games, there have been four draws and just two wins for the Lilywhites. There have been no goalless games between the clubs since that aforementioned season opener 11 years ago.

Last season at Deepdale.

It took a bunkerbuster of a shot from Adam Reach to give the Wednesday a share of the points at the death of the game the last time we travelled over to Preston. Wednesday didn’t put on a sparkling performance, so that equalising goal was more than welcome!!!

Here’s the highlights from the final game of 2016!





Final Thoughts….

Our pre season hasn’t been one which has set the supporters hearts racing, many have used it to vent frustration on various matters… Kit, centre back woes, and pre season ‘form’.
But this is where it starts, Deepdale is where it matters. It’s from this point on things need to build. We are almost perennial slow starters, it’s been almost a prerequisite to the Wednesday season.. But we don’t need it this time.

Hitting the ground running is the cliché which Wednesday could do with more than ever, putting a marker down for the season ahead is what we all want.

The players want it more than ever this season too.

Prediction

Preston 1 Wednesday 2

Come join in the discussion on our forum which you can find…. HERE…

Unread article 04/08/2017 at 08:55

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