PNE in Numbers: Lilywhites go in search of sixth double of the season

Alan Browne's goal sealed the victory at Sheffield United last time out
Alan Browne's goal sealed the victory at Sheffield United last time out

Preston North End are hoping to make it six of the best when Burton Albion visit Deepdale on the final day of the Championship season on Sunday.

Victory has obvious implications for Alex Neil’s men. Three points – and Barnsley upsetting Derby at Pride Park – would see the Lilywhites snatch the final play-off place right at the death.

Away from the big picture, seeing off Nigel Clough’s men would mean that PNE have done the double over six clubs in an impressive first season under Neil.

Alan Browne’s goal just before the hour-mark at Shefffield United last time out on Saturday was number five.

His brave finish as he followed up Josh Harrop’s shot made it a pair of 1-0 wins over the Blades after victory at Deepdale back in December.

It was just a third win at Bramall Lane since 1978 and even more remarkably secured a first double over United for 121 years, the last coming in the 1896-97 season.

Elsewhere across the campaign, PNE have won home and away against Queens Park Rangers, Bristol City, Hull and Cardiff.

The latter is particularly impressive, especially given the lofty league position Neil Warnock’s men occupy going into the final weekend.

Victory at home to Reading on Sunday will see the Bluebirds into the Premier League automatically.

PNE scored four goals without reply against Cardiff this season and both games were memorable for different reasons.

The 3-0 win at Deepdale back in September was capped by Browne’s goal from 45 yards.

Then between Christmas and New Year, Tom Clarke’s late header sealed all three points and a 1-0 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

On the flipside, two teams have done the double over the Lilywhites this season.

Given the season as a whole, losing home and away against Ipswich is a surprise, those games seeing PNE produce two of their poorer performances of the campaign.

Perhaps of more significance is losing out to their play-off rivals Derby at Pride Park and Deepdale.

The 1-0 away defeat back in August seems a lifetime ago but should Neil’s men just miss out this weekend, then losing by the same scoreline on home soil at the start of April will be brought into sharp focus.

If, buts and maybes can drive fans mad, though.

If PNE can see off the Brewers and make it six doubles then who knows what might happen?