Preston North End travel to take on Birmingham City this weekend, and a number of players – such as Scott Sinclair – have returned to training.

PNE beat Cheltenham Town 4-1 in the Carabao Cup in midweek, setting up a last 16 meeting with Liverpool.

North End did suffer a couple of blows in that game though.

Connor Wickham has suffered a significant hamstring injury, whilst Liam Lindsay picked up a knee knock too.

Both players may miss the trip to Birmingham, but there have been some injury boosts.

AFC Fylde: The Most Hated Team In Non-League Football

AFC Fylde: The Most Hated Team In Non-League Football

Four players return to training

North End posted four photos on Thursday with a quartet of players back on the grass.

Scott Sinclair was in training, having not played for PNE since the 3-1 win over Swansea City before the international break.

Tom Barkhuizen is now back after asthma-based complications having contracted COVID-19 last month.

Matt Olosunde is also in training having been out for more than two months following an injury against St Johnstone in pre-season.

Striker Ched Evans also made his return to training.

McAvoy will soon have major dilemmas

Sinclair, Barkhuizen, Olosunde and Evans all ramping up their returns means Frankie McAvoy will have plenty of options.

The starting XI right now seems settled. Daniel Iversen, Sepp van den Berg, Jordan Storey, Patrick Bauer, Andrew Hughes, Josh Earl, Ben Whiteman, Ryan Ledson, Daniel Johnson, Emil Riis and Seani Maguire.

That would leave Declan Rudd, Olosunde, Liam Lindsay, Greg Cunningham, Ali McCann, Alan Browne, Brad Potts, Barkhuizen, Sinclair, Josh Murphy and Evans fighting for the bench.

There is even the possibility of Joe Rafferty and Paul Huntington being involved moving forward.

This would be the strongest PNE squad McAvoy has had at his disposal so far, and juggling everybody will be a challenge – but hopefully it brings results.

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