Preston North End predicted team vs Sunderland as Ryan Lowe brings in £1.1m star

Here’s how we predict Preston North End to line up against Sunderland in the EFL Championship on New Year's Day.

Preston North End hope to begin the New Year better than how they finished 2023 when they travel to Sunderland for an EFL Championship clash at the Stadium of Light. The Lilywhites suffered a 1-0 defeat to lowly Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, and are in front of the Sky Sports television cameras once more.

It's been a mixed festive period for North End, losing late on to Swansea City before claiming an impressive win against Leeds United on Boxing Day. The defeat to the Owls leaves manager Ryan Lowe pondering whether he will need to make any changes. Danish striker Emil Riis has come into the reckoning again after returning following a lengthy lay-off and he's a useful option to have either on the bench or from a starting position.

Defender Jack Whatmough took a bang to his knee in the defeat to Wednesday and that's one potential change that we could see with Jordan Storey tipped to come in for him if he is unable to shake it off or is afforded a rest. Mads Frokjaer is a player that gets fans off of their seats, and so there's potential for him to replace Ali McCann in the starting line-up. A 4-5-1 formation has been predicted by ourselves and that system should hopefully work in nullifying the threat of Sunderland's attack, whilst also causing problems on the counter-attack.

A win for North End would move them above Sunderland, and get them back into the play-off picture. If North End can't get off to a winning start into the year however then they could drop at least three places to 14th.

New Year's Day is a Bank Holiday for most and so there should be a good crowd in the North East. One of the key talking points before kick-off is what the team should look like. Fans like to see changes after a defeat, and that's likely to happen.

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