Testing three weeks for Preston North End in the Championship and Carabao Cup: Derby, Blackpool and Liverpool among the fixtures

Preston North End have a big three weeks ahead of them as they battle on two fronts.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 12:30 pm

Seven games squashed into 21 days are in front of the Lilywhites, including the derby clash with Blackpool and Liverpool’s visit in the Carabao Cup.

Those two matches are the stellar games in this next batch of fixtures but the schedule has a whole host of challenges for Frankie McAvoy’s side.

Of course Blackpool away is going to take star billing with many North Enders, the manner in which the allocation was snapped up testament to that.

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Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy and coach Paul Gallagher on the touchline at QPR

Liverpool four days later might be regarded as a ‘nice to have’ game by some, a bonus fixture almost.

It should be noted, though, that should PNE pull off a shock and beat the Reds, it would be the club’s first time in the quarter-final of this competition.

Many North End fans have yet to see the club play in the last eight of one of the two big cup competitions.

The action resumes on Saturday when Derby pay a visit to Deepdale.

Having been docked 12 points for going into administration, the Rams are bottom of the table but are not cut adrift. They are to appeal against the deduction on Covid grounds and want the punishment reduced to six points.

The second of back-to-back home games sees Coventry City come to town a week on Wednesday.

Mark Robins’ side could very well be described as the surprise package so far in the Championship, with them in third place – above Stoke, Fulham and some of the other big-budget clubs.

The first visit to Bloomfield Road in almost 12 years comes on October 23. Then four nights later is the Liverpool clash.

Judging by the side which the Reds fielded in the previous round, it will be a second-string team which travels up the A59.

So there is an opportunity there for PNE to make a few headlines.

Hot on the heels of the cup tie is a return to the bread and butter of the Championship in the shape of a home match against Luton Town.

Then North End have to put in the miles, some in the air and others on the road, for successive away games.

There is a Wednesday night trip to Bournemouth on November 3 which is not exactly away-fan friendly.

Then it is off to the City Ground on Saturday, November 6, to face an improving Nottingham Forest side.

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