Frankie McAvoy hopes the extra 24 hours to prepare can pay off for Preston North End
Preston North End’s opponents this weekend have two they do not this season – consistency, and millions of pounds in parachute payments.
Fulham will make the trip up from the capital to Deepdale on Saturday for the Championship clash in front of the Sky cameras (12.20pm).
The Cottagers currently sit top of the table despite only drawing 0-0 with Derby County in midweek.
They have the chief goal threat in the league in the shape of 21-goal striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, although the Serbian missed out on Wednesday due to illness.
Marco Silva’s side have managed to find regular form this season, unlike North End, who regularly follow up good wins and performances with the opposite.
Fulham have the added bonus of being the big spenders in the division.
But in spite having a couple of things in their favour, Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy is not counting out an upset.
He said: “The biggest thing is about consistency, and having someone who is going to score – well, who knows how many. If he’s available for Saturday hopefully he doesn’t score any.
“They have a fantastic squad of players but you never know what could happen.
“When you come down from the Premier League, and if you can manage to keep the players and with the parachute payments you have, then you’re in pole position.
“But if you look at a Grand Prix, it’s not always the people in pole position that win the race.
“What we’ve got to do is be respectful to them and do our utmost to try and win the game.
“Sometimes in terms of team selection we look at who we might think is best suited to come up against an individual or a certain style of play a team will play.
“We’ll certainly be paying a lot of attention to some of their players that we think could cause us issues, but to be honest we do that with everybody.”
North End do have at least one advantage ahead of Saturday – time. The Lilywhites played on Tuesday whilst their opponents did so a day later.
McAvoy’s side is looking good on the injury front, with Ched Evans making a return in the 2-1 win at Middlesbrough, while Matt Olosunde could well be involved for the first time this season.
The Deepdale boss said: “We played on Tuesday night and Fulham played on Wednesday.
“They are probably 24 hours behind schedule compared to our lads and hopefully we can prepare and use that to our advantage – but it’s easier said than done.
“What we need to do is get everyone as fit and ready, and as willing and able, to be available for Saturday as best as we can.
“There are a few knocks that we really need to see to, we’ll assess them and see how we are.
“We will give everyone who has a slight knock to have every opportunity to be ready to go.”