Preston North End pair Emil Riis and Scott Sinclair pushing for league start after Carabao Cup goals

Scott Sinclair and Emil Riis have both given Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy food for thought as regards his forward line for Saturday’s trip to Reading.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 8:00 am

The pair found the net in the Carabao Cup victory over Mansfield, Sinclair netting twice either side of a goal from Danish striker Riis.

It was Sinclair’s first game of the season having had to isolate for the opener against Hull last Saturday.

Riis started and scored in the Hull game but was subbed at half-time.

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Emil Riis (right) scored in PNE’s win at Mansfield

On Tuesday night he came off the bench to score within four minutes of his introduction.

McAvoy said: “I thought Scotty was excellent and it was great to see him score twice.

“In training on Monday we had done a lot of work to get Scotty and Sean Maguire linking up in and around the penalty box.

“Before he scored the first goal, Scotty had a chance from Sean playing him in.

“His goal came from them linking up again, so that was a big plus for us.

“They hadn’t been available for Hull because they were isolating, so this was a good chance for them to play.

“I put Emil on knowing we needed a second goal and I knew he would give us that spark we needed.”

McAvoy chose Riis to start next to Ched Evans in the Hull game but changed direction at half-time and moved Tom Barkhuizen up front.

Then it was Sinclair and Maguire starting up front at Mansfield, with Maguire giving way to Riis.

The weekend clash with Reading will stir some good memories for Riis – it was in Berkshire last November that he scored his first goal for the Lilywhites.

Said Riis: “That was a night I won’t forget and hopefully I can score there again. I want to keep scoring goals and help the team do well.

“This season I’ve two goals in two games which isn’t a bad stat to have.

“Being a striker you need to score goals for your confidence and I’m feeling good about myself.

“The goal at Mansfield I was pleased with. Scott had a shot which the keeper pushed up into the air.

“I went for it and was trying to head it but their big centre-back was with me.

“When the ball dropped near the byline I thought about shooting for about half a second.

“But the angle wasn’t good so I moved inside to open up the goal and get more of the goal to aim at.

“I was pleased with the finish and it gave us that gap which we needed.

“We’ve got to build on the Mansfield win and get some points in the league. Going to Reading and getting a good result there would be ideal.”