Off to Preston tonight as we prepare for Europa League
We still have three pre-season games to play but because of our successful 2017/18 season it means we’ll be playing Europa League games at the same time and that means tonight’s game against Preston North End at Deepdale will be our last game before we head up to Scotland and that clash with Aberdeen.
We’ve played at Cork, had a double header against Blackpool and Shrewsbury behind closed doors at Gawthorpe and then finally another double header against Curzon Ashton and Macclesfield last Friday night when we got the boost of Robbie Brady (pictured below) featuring for the first half at Curzon Ashton.
We go into tonight’s game a couple of players short with both Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour set to miss out. Barnes came off at Cork with blisters but Sean Dyche has subsequently confirmed that he has a minor knee problem whilst Defour hasn’t featured at all because of a calf injury. Neither of them are considered serious but it is very unlikely now that either will be involved at Aberdeen.
It looks as though we will be utilising the squad at Preston. Sean Dyche has said: “The good thing is they’ve got the two 90s (in the two double headers), they’ve locked that in now, so we’ll make a decision on what sort of team we’re putting out for what reasons.
“We’ll get our heads around that. We’re probably not going to play 90s, even the players that I consider will play at Aberdeen we’ll probably be cautious with. There will be some who play a good part of the game.”
For Preston, they go into the game having drawn 2-2 against West Ham last Saturday at Deepdale, it was a performance and result that pleased their manager Alex Neill. He said after the game :”Over the piece I was really pleased with our lads; I thought we created good opportunities.
“I thought in the second half we controlled the game more, in and out of possession. We scored some great goals, the second in particular was an absolutely cracking goal, and we had a goal disallowed that was onside, so we can only be pleased with that performance.”
Preston had a good 2017/18 season. They finished 7th, just two points from the play offs. Away from home they were exceptional with only Wolves and Fulham having better records and that’s two good seasons they’ve had since winning promotion from League One in 2016.
Tonight’s game is a repeat of the pre-season fixture last season which ended in a 2-1 win for Burnley on a night when Preston’s approach was considered somewhat over physical. It was no surprise that they fell behind to a free kick with Jon Walters getting the final touch after the kick was taken by Robbie Brady.
Early in the second half Walters was unfortunate to see his header come back off the inside of the post but Sam Vokes doubled the lead soon after although most Burnley fans thought the ball had gone in via a Kevin Long header from Brady’s corner.
Defour was one of a number of players to come on soon after and he gave the ball away cheaply. That allowed Sean Maguire to pull one back for the home side but it was the 1,755 Burnley fans who left the happier after this 2-1 win.Follow UpTheClarets:
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