Keane competition ahead of PNE’s derby

Preston striker Will Keane
Preston striker Will Keane
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Burnley central defender Michael Keane is enjoying being ahead of his twin brother and Preston North End striker Will in their own personal goalscoring duel.

The big Clarets central defender has notched twice this season and is one ahead of his sibling, who has one goal to his name so far this term since arriving on loan from Manchester United in the summer.

While Michael – who is just one minute older than his brother – holds the slight upper hand at the moment in terms of goals, he does not expect that to last too much longer.

He knows more than anyone just how good his brother is – although he is hoping not to see too many of the qualities he possesses on show today.

The twins could face each other – for only the second time in their young careers –this afternoon as North End visit Turf Moor for an eagerly-awaited derby clash in the Championship.

Will is hoping to win the nod from manager Simon Grayson to partner Joe Garner in the PNE attack, and if he is selected, he will go directly up against Michael.

“Will is not playing as much as me, and we’re playing in different teams, so it’s been difficult for him on that front in terms of scoring goals,” Michael said.

“I’ve managed to get my head on a few.

“Whenever I’ve seen Preston play, they’ve just come up to the Championship and aren’t going to create as many chances.

“So it’s been difficult for him. He’s not had many chances, but I know the qualities he’s got, and if he does get a chance, I’d back him to put it away, so we have to limit Preston.”

Should the twins face-off, it should be an intriguing match-up.

Michael said: “We’re really competitive – right from a young age, everything we did was competitive, whether it was playing FIFA or whatever.

“Growing up, I think it helped us improve because you’re always pushing to beat each other.

“When he’d score at FIFA, I’d get so frustrated...we weren’t always like that, as kids you’d fight a bit, but we always got along really well.”

Meanwhile, Grayson has played down speculation that he may be interested in signing Celtic striker Anthony Stokes in the January transfer window.

A couple of stories in the national press suggested the North End boss was keen to take the 27-year-old Republic of Ireland striker to Deepdale.

“The window opens in January and we’re looking at different options in terms of what we have got available and where we might need to strengthen,” said Grayson, who has been conducting training at Deepdale this week due to the heavy rain affecting the pitches at Springfields.

“We don’t comment on speculation – it goes with the territory. Anybody can start off stories linking us with different players.”