Frankie McAvoy takes charge of his first Preston North End game on Friday as The Lilywhites host his former club Norwich City.
It’s a difficult first game for the interim head coach but there isn’t much time to afford a bedding-in process. He needs to hit the ground running with some difficult games around the corner and points still needed on the board.
Norwich have been superb this season and look set to seal an immediate return back to the top flight with Daniel Farke. Teemu Pukki has found his scoring boots again whilst they have former North Ender Jordan Hugill as his backup.
McAvoy will want to make his mark on this team. Although he has been Neil’s right hand man for a long time he will have his own ideas and it could perhaps give opportunities to other players.
Having said that, we expect the shape of the team to still remain; a 4-3-3/4-23-1 formation will be expected for this home fixture.
Alan Browne will sit out the second game of his three match suspension, whilst Paul Gallagher will just be involved on the coaching team for the rest of the season. Neil tended to bring in a few select players when facing a tough opposition, Brad Potts being one of them. McAvoy may go down a different route for this tough encounter though.
Here’s my predicted lineup for this game: Iversen; Van den Berg, Lindsay, Storey, Hughes; Whiteman, Ledson; Barkhuizen, Johnson, Gordon; Evans.
Scott Sinclair may just have to settle for a place on the bench for this one, after becoming a father for the third time last week. McAvoy will want to have some flair in the side though, attacking the game rather than sitting back. Tom Barkhuizen and Anthony Gordon will be focused on that.