Bolton Wanderers take on Preston North End this Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship at the University of Bolton Stadium. With that in mind, bwfc.co.uk have picked out five talking points ahead of the fixture.
1. Squad Update
During Friday’s press conference, first team manager Phil Parkinson gave the following details on his squad for the upcoming clash in the Sky Bet Championship against Preston North End.
Parkinson said: “Jack Hobbs will be out for a few weeks and so is Andy Taylor."
"Mark Beevers and Ben Alnwick are making good progress with their respectives knocks, which is a positive sign."
2. Fresh faces at Deepdale
During the January transfer window, North End have certainly been busy, adding five new permanent signings to their club.
Josh Ginnelly was first to join the club as soon as the window opened, joining from Walsall.
In Ginnelly’s career in the non-leagues, he has won promotion to the Football League on two occasions with Lincoln City (2016/17) and Tranmere Rovers (2017/18) respectively.
Coming in for a club record transfer window is former Barnsley midfielder Brad Potts.
During his time at Blackpool in 2017, Potts was a part of the Tangerines side that won promotion Sky Bet League One via the play-offs that season.
Since joining Preston, he has scored two goals in four games under the tutelage of Alex Neil.
Along with the permanent signings of Connor Ripley and Joe Rafferty, Jayden Stockley joined from Exeter City.
In Stockley’s second game for the Lilywhites, he scored his first goal against QPR with a curled effort into the top right corner, leaving Joe Lumley helpless in the R’s goal.
3. The Boss – Alex Neil
Coming towards the end of the Scotsman’s 16 year playing career (1999-2015), Neil took on the role of interim manager in April 2013 of his last club Hamilton Academical following Billy Reid’s vacating of the job.
Here, Neil took permanent charge in May of that year at age 31 and led the club to promotion back to the top flight of Scottish football via the play-offs.
In the 2014/15 season with the Accies, Neil defeated Celtic away from home for the first time in 76 years of fixtures between the clubs.
In January of that season, Neil joined Norwich City as their new manager.
In Norfolk, he managed to obtain promotion the Premier League via the play-offs yet again, defeating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the final.
Following his departure from Carrow Road in March 2017, Neil wouldn’t be out of a job for long as he took charge of Preston North End in July 2017.
4. When we last met
Back in September 2018, Phil Parkinson took his side to take on North End at Deepdale in the Sky Bet Championship.
The fixture didn’t start ideally for Wanderers, as two early goals from Callum Robinson and a wonder strike from Alan Browne saw Preston take an early two goal advantage.
However, the Whites fought back well as Sammy Ameobi and Pawel Olkowski scored a goal each just before the half time interval to seal a point for Wanderers.
To see highlights of the clash, see the link below!
5. Opponents' current form
When looking at Preston’s start to the season, they currently sit 18th after 30 games.
The Lilywhites are currently unbeaten in their last four games in the league, taking eight points from a possible 12.
In their last game, they took on Derby County in the Sky Bet Championship as the game finished 0-0.