Skipper Alan Browne could make Preston North End return against Accrington Stanley

Preston North End face their second League One test of the week on Saturday as they take on Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium (3pm).

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:47 pm
PNE captain Alan Browne could be set for a return against Accrington Stanley this weekend.

The Lilywhites will be hoping for different fortunes compared to last time out, as they were beaten 1-0 by Bolton Wanderers.

PNE were deservedly beaten on the night, as they were not at their best.

The newly promoted side enjoyed most of the dominance and were largely the better side.

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The final portion of the game however saw a better showing from Frankie McAvoy’s men, but that did also involve changing the 10 outfield players.

The majority of the side that finished the game would be in most fans’ starting XI for the visit of Hull City in the opening game of the Championship season – and the supporting cast did little to challenge that notion.

One change perhaps from the starting side is that captain Alan Browne was absent, as the club await his return from injury.

We could see the Irishman get his first run out of pre-season at Accrington, which would also then likely give him just enough game time to see him in contention for the season opener.

Alongside last season’s player of the year Ryan Ledson and Ben Whiteman, Browne could round off a formidable trio in the centre of the park.

That is also without mentioning Daniel Johnson who has been a star turn in recent seasons.

Skipper Browne has been nursing a hip injury through the summer and was instead at the County Ground in midweek on dad duties, with his two children in tow.

Whiteman and Ledson are also the types who seem well suited to a deeper lying role in the midfield, which could give Browne licence to rediscover his own player-of-the-year form from 2018, where he scored nine goals and then followed it up with 12 the following campaign.

Those seasons saw the 26-year-old in the No.10 role in behind the striker.

In McAvoy’s 3-5-2 system, there is scope for one of the midfielders to join the attack making runs from midfield, something which Browne had as an art during his most productive years.

Tickets for the game are still on sale, at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

North End have an allocation of 1,087 with 500 standing. Lateral flow tests are not required, but are advised.

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