Five predictions for Preston North End this season
Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Five predictions for Preston North End this season

Preston are just one day away from starting their new season, with fans seemingly feeling a little mixed about the campaign ahead.

Frankie McAvoy is in charge permanently after ending last season in caretaker charge following Alex Neil’s departure.

Only three ‘new’ faces have arrived in Matthew Olosunde, Izzy Brown and Jamie Thomas, but none of them will play against Hull City.

Many are predicting Preston to finish in the bottom half of the table this season, so here are five of our predictions for the new season…

My Revenge On Ben Foster

Emil Riis finishes as Preston’s top goalscorer

Perhaps this one is more out of hope than expectation, but we certainly believe in Riis.

The Dane has so much talent, possessing great pace the ability to go past defenders, as we saw at Huddersfield Town and Reading last season.

The goals didn’t quite flow for Riis, but with a season of Championship action under his belt and the transition from Denmark to England – in the middle of a pandemic – somewhat eased, we’re expecting big things from Riis.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Jordan Storey earns himself a new contract

Defender Storey is one of a number of players who enter this season with their contracts expiring in 2022.

Scott Sinclair, Andrew Hughes, Brad Potts, Patrick Bauer and Tom Barkhuizen are in the same boat, but we’re backing Storey to push himself to the front of the queue for a new deal.

Storey ended last season in great form on the right side of Frankie McAvoy’s back three, and whilst Sepp van den Berg is additional competition in that area, Storey should still be in line for plenty of playing time.

At 23, Storey still has plenty of potential, and this may be the season he really kicks on after three years at Deepdale.

Lewis Leigh makes a big impact

Midfielder Leigh is only 17, but he is already wanted by the likes of Arsenal, Everton, Leicester City and West Ham United.

The former Liverpool youngster has been handed the number 17 at Preston, suggesting that he is in line for a big role under Frankie McAvoy.

Yes, Ryan Ledson and Ben Whiteman will be Preston’s first-choice midfield pairing, but Leigh has the talent and potential to really push for playing time this season, and should make an impact not only in cup games, but even in the Championship.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

This is Paul Huntington’s final season at Preston

Paul Huntington has been given an extension until next summer, but we’re now expecting this to be his last season at North End.

Almost 34, Huntington has racked up more than 300 appearances for North End. That new deal takes him through to 2022, meaning he will have spent 10 years as a Preston player.

A club hero and a leader in the dressing room, Huntington’s impact at Deepdale cannot be overlooked.

Yet with other defensive options at the club and Huntington advancing in years, this season will be the big goodbye.

Preston stay up, but no top half finish

Some are fearing relegation this season, and our prediction is that Preston won’t be starting the 2022-23 campaign in League One.

However, this may not be a pretty season.

Preston are functional but lacking in real quality in the final third, and expecting McAvoy to simply continue the results from his stint in temporary charge would be foolish.

A finish around 14th to 18th is our prediction this season, with Preston simply not quite good enough to push for a top half finish.

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