PNE cup opponents have taken step up in their stride

Callum Wilson celebrates scoring against Sunderland on Saturday with team-mate Matt Ritchie (right)
Callum Wilson celebrates scoring against Sunderland on Saturday with team-mate Matt Ritchie (right)
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AFC Bournemouth and Preston clash for the first time in two-and-half years, both clubs having taken big strides forward since that League One meeting.

The Cherries were promoted at the end of that season and after two campaigns in the Championship, won promotion to the Premier League.

After reaching the Championship themselves, PNE set their sights on causing a second Capital One Cup surprise of the season at Deepdale – having disposed of Watford a month ago.

The current Bournemouth squad contains seven players who finished on the losing side to Preston in February 2013.

One of them is Matt Ritchie, scorer of a stunning goal in their 2-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday.

Four of the Lilywhites’ side from that last meeting – John Welsh, Paul Huntington, Joe Garner and Bailey Wright – remain at Deepdale.

John Dreyer was in charge of North End that day, his one game as caretaker boss following the dismissal of Graham Westley.

Dreyer oversaw a 2-0 win, with Stuart Beavon and Wright on target.

In the stand that day was Glynn Snodin, on a scouting mission ahead of his arrival two days later with Simon Grayson.

The PNE No.2 says plenty has changed since then, the rise of Bournemouth to the top flight an impressive one.

Snodin said: “It is nice to see Bournemouth up there.

“They are not a massive club in terms of the crowds they get down there, but what an achievement it is that they have reached the Premier League.

“It shows what can be done if you put a team together with a good team ethic.

“Eddie Howe has done a fantastic job there and has a great career ahead of him.

“Anyone who takes a side up from the Championship, good luck to them.”

Snodin expects Cherries boss Howe to rotate his squad for the visit to Lancashire, with him having one eye on their league visit to Stoke this weekend.

He said: “I think Eddie will be saying the main thing for them this season is staying in the Premier League.

“It is big bucks in there and Bournemouth will want to make sure they are still in it.”

Howe’s men have settled well in the top flight, and are sitting in 14th position, level on points with Chelsea.

After losing their first two games, they got off the mark with a 4-3 win at West Ham.

Bournemouth shared a 1-1 draw with Leicester, before losing 3-1 at Norwich.

The 2-0 home win against Sunderland – Ritchie and Callum Wilson were on target in the first nine minutes – saw them bounce back well from the Norwich loss.

Wilson already has five top-flight goals to his name.

In the last round of the Capital One Cup, they won 4-0 away to Hartlepool.

It was a much-changed side that night, with Junior Stanislas (2), Dan Gosling and Yann Kermorgant on target.