Preston under starter’s orders for opening match of the season

Over the last couple of decades Preston North End have not been the quickest of starters in terms of winning on the opening day of the league season.
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Hopefully the Lilywhites can buck that trend when they host Swansea City at Deepdale in their first game of the 2020/21 Championship campaign.

Two of those eight wins have come on Alex Neil’s watch.

North End beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in his first competitive match in charge in August 2017.

Preston North End's Jordan Hugill is brought down in the penalty area by Sheffield Wednesday's Tom Lees earning himself a penalty scored by Daniel Johnson

 on the opening day of the 2017-18 seasonPreston North End's Jordan Hugill is brought down in the penalty area by Sheffield Wednesday's Tom Lees earning himself a penalty scored by Daniel Johnson

 on the opening day of the 2017-18 season
Preston North End's Jordan Hugill is brought down in the penalty area by Sheffield Wednesday's Tom Lees earning himself a penalty scored by Daniel Johnson on the opening day of the 2017-18 season
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The following year, PNE beat Queens Park Rangers by the same scoreline.

Last season’s opener saw Neil’s men beaten 1-0 by Millwall at the Den.

Prior to the 2017 victory over Wednesday, North End went eight seasons without an opening-day win.

There were five draws in that run, coupled with defeats to Reading, Colchester and Doncaster.

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At the start of the 2008/09 season, PNE beat Ipswich 2-1 at Portman Road.

Two seasons running they won 2-1 against Watford on the opening day – the first in 2004 at Deepdale under Craig Brown, the next at Vicarage Road with Billy Davies in charge.

Three seasons running PNE won their first game when David Moyes was in the manager’s office.

They beat York City 3-0 in 1998/99, Oldham 1-0 and then Grimsby 2-1 in their first match after promotion.

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That winning run was shattered in August 2001 though, when North End were thumped 5-0 at Gillingham.

Hopefully North End’s home start against the Swans can produce a victory, it part of a tough run of fixtures in the first month of the campaign.