Preston looking to be the first to beat league leaders Bournemouth

Frankie McAvoy says Preston North End must embrace the challenge of facing unbeaten Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium tonight.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites head coach doesn’t want any sort of fear factor attached to the trip to the south coast, the first of back-to-back away games for PNE with Nottingham Forest to come on Saturday.

North End need to sort their away form out, having taken only three points on the road this season – draws at Bristol City, Sheffield United and Birmingham City.

Getting something against Bournemouth will be a major challenge, the Cherries top of the Championship having won 11 and drawn four of their games to date.

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Sepp van den Berg pictured with coach Paul Gallagher

McAvoy said: “We are going to play a side who 15 teams have had a go at trying to beat and haven’t done it.

“You just never know in the Championship, no matter where you are in the league, any team is capable of beating anyone on their day.

“We will go there with confidence after a good win on Saturday looking to try and get three points.”

McAvoy is of the view that to be unbeaten at this stage is some achievement, regardless of budget and expectation.

“I think Scott Parker has done a magnificent job at Bournemouth,” said McAvoy.

“They’ve got the highest accumulation of points at this stage in the Championship so credit where credit to due.

“Their front three look a real handful, I know Ryan Christie from my time in Scotland, he did really well at Celtic.

“Dominic Solanke’s record speaks for itself and the young boy Jaidon Anthony who plays off the left-wing is a talent.

“They’ve got Gary Cahill there, Ben Pearson who we all know, their squad contains a lot of good players.”

Selection wise, McAvoy is expected to stick closely to the side who beat Luton, with no fresh injuries reported.

That would mean another game in the back three for Sepp van den Berg.

The teenager moved into the middle against Liverpool last week and stayed there for the Luton game.

McAvoy said: “We’ve mainly used Sepp as a wing-back and he’s been great there.

“When we moved Sepp to right centre-back against Liverpool I felt he did extremely well and deserved the opportunity again in the Luton game.

“He took that opportunity and it’s up to Sepp to keep playing well.

“Jordan Storey had been doing very well there and he was unfortunate.

“We’ve got some good options at the back , Patrick Bauer has done really well, Andrew Hughes has developed well on the left.

“Liam Lindsay missed out on the bench on Saturday.”

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