Preston made it three games without defeat on Saturday afternoon, drawing 0-0 away at Cardiff City.

North End headed down to South Wales for a dinnertime kick off against the Bluebirds, hoping for a repeat of the 1-0 win there back in December 2017.

Preston were impressive for large spells of Saturday’s game, but just couldn’t find the all-important winner. Alex Neil probably would have taken a point before the game, but the 0-0 draw was a little frustrating in truth.

Here are five talking points from the game, ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Leeds United…


Attacking wastefulness

This is, sadly, the big issue from the game. Preston created a number of chances, with Seani Maguire squandering three of them without even hitting the target. Paul Gallagher flashed one wide, Billy Bodin and Ben Pearson both tested Neil Etheridge, and North End racked up 16 shots away from home. None of them went in though, and meant North End go yet another away game without a goal.

Preston North End’s Sean Maguire. (Photo by Ian Cook – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Ideal game for Bauer and Huntington

With Ben Davies still not back fit, Paul Huntington was again picked alongside Patrick Bauer. The pair were superb throughout, nullifying the threat of Robert Glatzel and then Gary Madine. Cardiff went long, and that played perfectly into the hands of the aerially dominant Bauer and Huntington. With a combined 17 aerials won, the pair helped North End keep a clean sheet, and Huntington is making a strong case to keep Davies out of the side for a couple more games yet.

Pearson dominant

There was no doubting who Preston’s star man was at the Cardiff City Stadium. Ben Pearson absolutely ran the show in midfield, contributing both defensively and going forward. He had the most touches, most passes, most interceptions and most chances created of any player in the game, and almost won it with a strong run and strike on goal late on. On this kind of display, Pearson is a Premier League midfielder in waiting – let’s just hope it’s with Preston.

Jayden Stockley and David Nugent of Preston North End. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Late substitutions a surprise

North End struggled to find that killer moment in the final third, but Neil surprisingly waited until the 74th minute to make his first change. Brad Potts and Jayden Stockley came on just over 10 minutes later, but it was too late for any of them to really make an impact. With Seani Maguire and Billy Bodin misfiring, it was maybe a surprise we didn’t see an earlier change, such as bringing on Josh Harrop, who was actually stripped and ready to come on at one point. With Preston playing so well, maybe Neil didn’t want to break that momentum, but it was a little surprising to see the changes come late on.

Away record a concern ahead of Elland Road trip

A point was a decent result, but Preston now haven’t scored away from home since the win over Charlton in early November. You have to go back to the 1st of October for Preston’s last away goal from open play, when Josh Harrop opened the scoring against Middlesbrough. That’s now almost three months without an away goal from open play, and with such a big game coming up at Leeds, this run needs to end.

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