Preston North End host Wigan at Deepdale on Saturday in the final game before the international break.
PNE: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Johnson, Barkhuizen, Browne, Robinson, Nmecha
Wigan: Walton, James, Dunkley, Kipre, Robinson, Morsy, Evans, Jacobs. Powell. Windass. Grigg
Callum Robinson: Simply PNE’s player of the season so far. Robinson has come of age this term despite North End struggling at the wrong end of the table, playing in a variety of roles across the frontline. Has scored four goals in his last six Championship games.
Nick Powell: The subject of plenty of transfer speculation in the window the former Manchester United man has Premier League quality and can be a real difference-maker for the Latics. North End will need to keep him quiet on Saturday.
In the visiting dugout
Paul Cook: The Liverpudlian started his professional playing career with Wigan Athletic in 1984 and returned to the club as manager in May last year. In his first season in charge, he led Latics to the League One title. Cook’s men head into their visit to Deepdale in ninth place in the Championship. This is the 51-year-old’s sixth managerial post, with him previously at the helm at Southport, Sligo Rovers, Accrington, Chesterfield and Portsmouth – he guided the latter two clubs to promotion from League Two.
Lee Probert: The Wiltshire-based Premier League referee will take charge of PNE’s clash with Wigan at Deepdale. Mr Probert’s last visit to these parts was in April when he was in the middle for North End’s 3-1 win over Leeds. A year earlier, he angered Preston by awarding a controversial late penalty against them in a 3-2 defeat at Huddersfield. This will be his seventh game of the season, the last of those being Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Newcastle on September 15.
This week is PNE history
57 years ago: On October 5, 1961, Preston beat Swindon 3-1 at Deepdale in a League Cup second-round tie. Tommy Thompson scored twice and Dave Wilson got the other.
35 years ago: North End produced a cup shock by beating First Division Wolves 3-2 in the League Cup at Molineux on October 4, 1983. Two goals from right-back Joe Hinnigan and a Wille Naughton effort saw Gordon Lee’s side triumph. PNE won the return leg 1-0 at Deepdale.
32 years ago: Two goals each from John Thomas and Gary Brazil saw PNE beat Burnley 4-1 at Turf Moor in a Fourth Division clash on October 4, 1986.
28 years ago: Ian Bogie’s goal gave PNE a 1-0 win against Exeter City at Deepdale on October 6, 1990.