What are the likely line-ups? Who are the key men? Preston v Wolves - All you need to know

Alex Neil and his opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo.Alex Neil and his opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo.
Alex Neil and his opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo.
Preston welcome Championship leaders Wolves to Deepdale on Saturday in an eagerly-anticipated Deepdale clash.

From likely line-ups, to key men to the referee, find all you need to know below.

Likely line-ups

PNE (4-2-3-1) - Rudd, Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Woods, Welsh, Johnson, Bodin, Browne, Barkhuizen, Robinson

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Wolves (3-4-3) - Ruddy, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, N’Diaye, Neves, Douglas, Costa, Cavaleiro, Jota

Key Men

Alan Browne - PNE’s player of the season? If not, then the Irishman cannot be far off. Has developed into a key man under Alex Neil with the Scot taking every opportunity to underline how vital his endeavour and industry is to the North End cause.

Diogo Jota - There is plenty to choose from in a multi-million pound line-up but the on-loan Atletico Madrid man has 12 goals to his name so far this season. A permanent move has already been agreed for the summer, starting at £12m and rising higher.

In the visiting dugout

Nuno Espirito Santo - The ex-Valencia and Porto coach was Wolves’ choice to succeed Paul Lambert in the summer. Santo was a keeper in his playing career, one which saw him play in Portugal, Spain and Russia. Moving into coaching, he was keeper coach at Malaga and Panathinaikos. His first job as a head coach came at Rio Ave in Portugal, taking them into the Europa League for the first time. He then had 16 months in charge at Valencia before being appointed Porto coach in June 2016. Santo lasted 11 months there.


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Robert Jones - The Merseyside official is yet to take charge of a Preston game this campaign but has dished out 85 yellow cards and six red elsewhere. His only previous North End match came in the penultimate game of last season, an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Rotherham with only one booking required on the day at Deepdale. Lancashire referee Jeremy Simpson, from Carnforth in the north of the county, will be the fourth official this Saturday.

This week in PNE history

70 years ago - Preston enjoyed a derby-day victory over Blackburn Rovers at Deepdale. In front of a crowd of nearly 32,000, North End held the local bragging rights thanks to a penalty from Tom Finney and a goal by Andy McClaren.

50 years ago - Almost 50,000 spectators crammed into White Hart Lane to watch a FA Cup fourth-round clash between Tottenham Hotspur and PNE. Despite Ray Charnley’s goal, North End exited the competition 3-1 .

31 years ago - On their way to promotion out of the old Fourth Division, John McGrath’s Preston outfit made the long trek to Devon to face Torquay United. They returned north with another important three points after a 2-1 success. Alex Jones and Alan Brazil were the goalscorers.