What you might have missed from Preston North End's defeat to Premier League Leicester City

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Preston North End played their final pre-season friendly on Saturday as they lost to Premier League Leicester City 2-1.
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Goals from Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes in the first half were enough to give Brendan Rodgers’ side the win, with Ali McCann getting a goal back for North End early in the second half.

Here are three things you may have missed from the game...

PNE striker Ched Evans pulls his shirt over his head.PNE striker Ched Evans pulls his shirt over his head.
PNE striker Ched Evans pulls his shirt over his head.

The front foot suits PNE.

PNE started the game in a 4-3-2-1 system, the same one they used against Getafe. It is a system designed for playing the top sides that does allow for the oppositiion to get on top of things a little bit but North End are supposed to be able to soak up that pressure.

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Unfortunately giving top sides more time on the ball, particularly a side like Leicester, only stands to punish PNE.

They could not really get a grip of the game in the first half and the switch back to 3-5-2 in the second half helped their case, as did being on the front foot and pressing as high as possible.

Emil Riis runs with the ball at Deepdale.Emil Riis runs with the ball at Deepdale.
Emil Riis runs with the ball at Deepdale.

Despite it not always being the way at Deepdale, it would be weird now to not see a North End pressing high and being on the front foot, thanks to the impacts of Alex Neil and Ryan Lowe.

Evans’ impact.

Ched Evans came off the bench at half time as North End switched formation. He gave Preston a sticking point, the ball went forward and stayed there.

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His hold up play is brilliant, his tenacity and willingness to fight for every ball seems to inspire those around him too.

He cannot play three games in the week – all the more reason to get the two strikers in that Lowe wants – but he is such a useful weapon.

A ‘friendly’ game.

Although it was of course a friendly game, there were five bookings throughout the piece – four for PNE.

Ryan Ledson has not shied-away from a tackle this summer and other bookings game from North End being ‘smarter’ as Lowe looks for them to end counters before they begin by bringing their man down.

It’s a tactic often used by managers at the top to allow their side to get back into shape, but expect suspensions at this rate.