Preston North End and Wycombe up for the cup just a month after meeting in the Championship

Preston North End and Wycombe Wanderers meet again in the FA Cup tomorrow just a month on from their Championship clash.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 8th January 2021, 12:30 pm

The two sides could not be separated at Deepdale, a late own goal earning North End a 2-2 draw with the Chairboys.

Attention now switches to Adams Park for the third-round tie which is not the most thrilling for either club.

Being pitched against a side from your own division rarely gets the excitement levels rising but there is a job to be done and a place in the fourth round at stake.

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Preston skipper Alan Browne takes on former PNE winger Daryl Horgan in December's game against Wycombe at Deepdale

With revenue streams having dried up during the pandemic, the prize money on offer in the cup should not be sniffed at.

North End manager Alex Neil says the one advantage of playing a side from the same division is knowing what is coming.

Neil said: “Wycombe were always going to find it difficult in this division but they have found a method which gives them a chance of getting results – their results have been better.

“When we played them last month, we knew we had been in a match.

Wycombe Wanderers manager and former PNE players Gareth Ainsworth

“We started great but lost Ben Pearson to injury half an hour in, which changed the tide of the game.

“Wycombe make it tough for you, they are direct, physical, if you don’t stand up to those sides of the game you are going to come up short.

“They have found a way to be competitive and deserve a lot of credit.

“There should be nothing coming our way which we don’t expect.

“I think at their place it will be doubly difficult, so we are going to have to scrap, fight and scratch to earn the right to play.”

This is the Lilywhites’ third visit to this corner of Buckinghamshire in the FA Cup in seven years.

In December 2013, Kevin Davies’ wonder goal saw PNE win 1-0 in the second round.

Three years ago in the third round, North End triumphed 5-1 there.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth is targeting a run in the competition and it will be interesting to see if he rotates his squad to the extent Neil is expected to.

Ainsworth will be facing the club where he had three spells as a player and is still much loved to this day by the PNE fans who watched him.

Looking ahead to Preston’s visit, Ainsworth said: “I love the FA Cup and I think it very important that we have a good run in it.

“The owners want one, I want one and I know that the lads want to win the game.

“A cup run would be fantastic but staying in the league would be even better.

“I’ll be proud of the boys whatever the outcome.”

Wycombe were beaten 3-1 at home by Middlesbrough last Saturday.

The game before, they won 2-1 against Cardiff with goals from Ryan Tafazolli and David Wheeler.

Former PNE man Daryl Horgan will be in their squad, having joined for £50,000 from Hibernian during the close season. He left Preston for Hibs in August 2018.

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