Preston’s season comes to an end on Wednesday evening, as they travel down to Bristol City for the final game of the campaign.
There is nothing riding on the game as neither side can get into the playoffs now, meaning this will be something of a dead rubber.
There is though a chance for Alex Neil to blood some fringe or young players, with the result of the game not really mattering too much in the grand scheme of things.
With that in mind, here are three players we would like to see play some part in Wednesday’s game, either from the start or as a substitute.
We’ve been keen to see Bodin feature as a striker. He impressed in that role against Nottingham Forest back in August, but hasn’t been given another chance there.
Bodin showed the ability to drop into pockets of space and drive with the ball, as well as the willingness to run in behind and cause havoc. He scored that day and could have had more.
The Welshman has great raw ability, but has played just seven minutes of first-team action since football returned last month.
This is a chance for Bodin to get more game time under his belt, and it would also be an indication that he is at least in the plans for next season.
Bodin has just a year left on his contract, and there may be a temptation to sell the 28-year-old if he isn’t in Neil’s plans. Giving him a chance to shine tomorrow could just give North End a creative spark on the road, which was sorely lacking at Brentford last week.
He does exist, promise! North End’s £1.2million signing from Coventry City last summer has yet to even appear in a Championship game, never mind start one.
The 21-year-old has only played in cup games, with just one appearance since the end of September.
Whilst there is great competition in midfield, it has been somewhat bizarre that Bayliss hasn’t been given a little more playing time.
Maybe a year of learning under Neil rather than going out on loan will stand him in good stead, but it currently feels like a lost year for the midfielder.
Bayliss arrived with a huge reputation and given that this could be Paul Gallagher’s final game for the club unless a new contract is sorted, seeing his heir in action would be great.
Ryan Ledson and Jordan Storey have stepped up of late having been fringe players, and with nothing riding on the game, there is little risk in giving Bayliss the chance to do the same.
The only second-year scholar to earn a professional deal, there are high hopes for Walker. The 17-year-old was even named North End’s Scholar of the Year this evening.
After loan spells at Altrincham and Stalybridge Celtic this season, we weren’t 100% sure that Walker could be involved, but Neil suggested that was possible last month, so we’re working on that basis.
A dangerous winger who has impressed in the youth setup, Walker is one of the most exciting academy graduates in recent times, and a cameo appearance at Asthon Gate would be brilliant.
Making a first-team appearance just a day after winning his award would be a great end to the season for Walker, who may be able to show that he should be in and around the first team next term if given a chance.