Preston North End reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for just the second time in eight seasons on Saturday as they dispatched Huddersfield Town for the third time this season.

Having endured little to no success of late in this competition it was nice to see The Lilywhites win the tie at Deepdale despite going a goal down in the second half. An own goal, a first for Bambo Diaby and a first of the season for Alan Browne ensured Preston were in the hat for the next round.

The last time we were in the fourth round was in 2018 when we lost to Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane. The last time before that saw us beat The Blades in a fourth round replay before a memorable tie against Manchester United in 2015 at Deepdale which saw us take the lead through Scott Laird, before some questionable referee decisions led to a 3-1 defeat. The club’s YouTube channel actually caught up with Laird this week to discuss that game.

Preston North End v Manchester United - FA Cup Fifth Round
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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Our best run in recent years saw us reach the fifth round in three consecutive seasons between 2006 and 2008. The fourth round will determine whether Preston can reach that level again, and it will take place on Sunday 8th January ahead of the game between Manchester City and Chelsea which kicks off at 16:30.

So we can expect the draw to commence at around 16:00, and it will be made by Emile Heskey and Karen Bardsley live on BBC.

The fourth round is scheduled to be played between Friday 27 January 2023 & Monday 30 January 2023. Preston will be ball number 1 for the draw, having been the first out of the hat in the third round. All the other teams and ball numbers are available on the FA website.

After some fairly boring ties in this competition in recent years, it will be nice to have an away trip to a new stadium like Tottenham Hotspur’s for example. or any of the bigger sides at home will always ensure a lively Deepdale.

Ryan Lowe would no doubt relish a trip to Anfield, which would have happened last year if we had managed to beat Cardiff City in the third round. What we would like to avoid is another game against Championship opposition. Just 6,799 turned up to Deepdale on Saturday, and you’d expect something similar if we drew a similar team.

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