Fears of rival clashes played down for match

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Police have played down fears of conflicts between fans at Preston North End’s derby clash with Blackpool.

The upcoming Deepdale match against the Seasiders will be the first time the clubs have faced each other in more than three years.

Head to head: PNE will meet Blackpool at Deepdale on August 5

Head to head: PNE will meet Blackpool at Deepdale on August 5

Preston North End will play their Lancashire rivals in the first round of the Capital One Cup - the fifth time they have faced each other in the competition - on August 5.

Police say they will put in place ‘appropriate operations’ with the safety of fans their priority, and say they have been in talks with both clubs.

The match marks the first time the clubs have met since their 0-0 draw at Preston in February 2010.

It will also be the 94th competitive clash between the teams.

Blackpool haven’t been drawn against Preston in any cup competition since 1994, when North End won 1-0.

In 2007, their games were marred by trouble.

Soccer hooligans went on the rampage, attacking a pub and smashing up a double decker bus.

Blackpool fans ripped out windows and threw seats at police officers as they were ferried by bus from Preston railway station to the Deepdale ground.

A mob of 30 Preston fans later attacked a Blackpool pub with bins and bottles in a “revenge” mission as staff and customers cowered inside the pub.

Nineteen people were arrested as more than 300 police officers were drafted in to keep both sets of supporters apart during the first derby for seven years,

In 2008 more than 100 pubs from Freckleton, near Preston, to Blackpool, were asked to close for one hour before and two hours after another match between the rivals at Bloomfield Road.

Superintendent Richard Morgan said talks were already underway to ensure safety.

He said: “There is a friendly rivalry between Blackpool and Preston and the League Cup meeting will be the first time the two clubs have faced each other in over three years.

“We have worked closely with both clubs and there will be an appropriate policing operation in place for the match at Deepdale with the priority being to ensure the safety of the supporters and those involved in the game.”

The game kicks off at 7.45pm at the Deepdale ground on August 5.