PNE keeper will be best of enemies for Akpom

Akpom's team-mate Sone Aluko will be one of Hul''s dangermen
Akpom's team-mate Sone Aluko will be one of Hul''s dangermen
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Hull striker Chuba Akpom will be ‘best of friends’ with Preston North End goalkeeper Jordan Pickford next week.

The two players have both been selected by Gareth Southgate as part of the England Under-21s squad which will face USA Under-23s at Deepdale on Thursday.

But tomorrow, they will be the ‘best of enemies’ as the Tigers entertain North End at the KC Stadium for a Championship clash before the top two divisions shut down for a fortnight for the international break.

On a season-long loan from Arsenal, Akpom will be aiming to notch his third goal for Hull, after scoring twice in his first two appearances for the club.

‘It was nice to score in my first two games,” he said.

“As a striker, you never want to be waiting too long for your first goal but now I’m up and running, I want more.

“I’ve got to be patient though because we have many more games to come, but it’s down to me to take the chance when it comes my way.’

Akpom is hoping to come back into contention for the visit of North End after missing the Capital One Cup win over Rochdale through injury.

Having suffered defeat against Charlton in the last game, Akpom revealed everybody in the camp was looking to put that match behind them.

Steve Bruce’s men equalised in the closing stages of the match at The Valley, only to concede the winner with virtually the last kick of the game

“Preston are going to be a direct team,” Akpom said.

“They’ve made a decent start to the season having won promotion to the Championship last term.

“They’ll be coming here hungry for the three points themselves but we have to show our desire.

“We’re hungry to achieve success for this club.

“It won’t be easy though, and we’re going to have to give everything we`ve got in order to secure the right result.”

North End defender Bailey Wright is under no illusions as to the task facing his team on Saturday.

Hull’s team is very similar to the one, which almost stayed up in the top flight last season.

And he and his fellow defenders will have to keep players like Sone Aluko and Nikica Jelavic quiet.

“They have got a great squad with really good players,” he said.

“But we know there are a lot of teams in the Championship who have Premier League experience.

“They have got a lot of quality which will hurt you – or any team for that matter – on any given day. We’ve got to make sure we prepare properly and are ready to go.

“We will make sure that we concentrate on ourselves and what we are good at. They have had a decent start, but we are confident with the players we have got, we are capable of going and getting a result against anybody.”