Preston North End could face Manchester United's England players in Deepdale friendly

Some of England’s 2020 stars could play at Deepdale when Manchester United face Preston North End at the end of the month.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:45 pm

PNE will host the Red Devils in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, July 31, the game having a 2pm kick-off.

That is a week before the Lilywhites kick-off their Championshp season and a fortnight before United start in the Premier League.

It could be that Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho – for whom United have agreed a fee with Borussia Dortmund – are back by then from a short holiday after their run to the Euros final in which England lost to Italy on penalties.

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Luke Shaw celebrates giving England an early lead in the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley

Others in the United squad played at Euro 2020 – Paul Pogba (France), Scott McTominay (Scotland), Daniel James (Wales), Bruno Fernandes (Portugal), while goalkeeper David De Gea was in Spain’s squad.

Edinson Cavani played in the Copa America with Uruguay this summer and Fred with Brazil.

North End will announce ticket details for the game in the next day or so.

It is the sixth friendly of the pre-season programme, with PNE having beaten Bamber Bridge 8-3 in the first at Euxton last Saturday.

Marcus Rashford takes his penalty in the shoot-out against Italy at Wembley

On Tuesday night they play against St Johnstone (7pm), then Frankie McAvoy takes PNE to Celtic on Saturday.

Next Tuesday, North End play Bolton at Lancashire FA’s County Ground in Leyland.

The night before United’s visit, Preston are at the DW Stadium to play Wigan Athletic.

With the aid of a sprinkling of young players, head coach McAvoy will be able to split the squad in two and put out a different XI in those games.

There is a gap in the list of friendlies between the Bolton and Wigan games which suggests another fixture is on the cards.

North End last met United in February 2015, that in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Scott Laird gave PNE the lead just after half-time.

Goals from Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney saw United hit back to win 3-1.

The clubs played a friendly in July 2006, Preston winning 2-1 with goals from Danny Pugh and Simon Whaley.

United’s goal that day came from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who is now their manager.

PNE’s victory that day came at a cost, Youl Mawene badly damaging his knee and missing the whole season.

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