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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

29 December 2020 Venue Deepdale Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Travel to Deepdale Tonight

City are searching for their first away win against the Lilywhites in 20 years...

29 December 2020

The Sky Blues travel to Deepdale to play Preston North End on Tuesday night. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact File

Name: Preston North End

Founded: 1880

Stadium: Deepdale (first opened 1878)

Capacity: 23,404

Nickname: The Lilywhites

Address: Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 6RU

Pitch Size: 110 x 75 yards


The Opposition

Preston are currently 13th in the table, seven points off the play-off places, and narrowly missed out on a top-six finish last season.

The Lilywhites are managed by Alex Neil and have several goal threats in their team including Scott Sinclair who has seven league goals this season.

The Lancashire club are unbeaten in their last three matches at home and are on a two-game winning run in the league after their Boxing Day win away at Derby County.

Alex Neil.jpg


Alex Neil was appointed Preston manager in July 2017, having previously guided Norwich City to promotion from the second-tier.

The 39-year-old initially became player-manager at Hamilton Academical, before being appointed on a permanent basis in May 2013.

He led the Accies back to the Scottish Premiership in his first full season in charge, beating Hibernian on penalties in the play-off final.

Following a superb start to the following campaign, he left the Scottish side to become Norwich manager in January 2015 and guided the Canaries into the play-offs before beating Middlesbrough at Wembley to secure promotion to the Premier League.

However, after being relegated straight back to the Championship, Neil was sacked in March 2017 and returned to the dugout with Preston in July that same year.

He guided the Lilywhites to a seventh-place finish in his first season in charge and finished ninth in the table last term as Neil aims to break into the top-six this season.

With Preston, Neil has managed 173 matches recording 68 wins, 45 draws and 60 defeats.

Preston North End Fans.jpg

Last Six Games

Won – Derby 0-1 Preston (Sky Bet Championship)

Won – Preston 1-0 Bristol City (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Barnsley 2-1 Preston (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Luton 3-0 Preston (Sky Bet Championship)

Won – Preston 3-0 Middlesbrough (Sky Bet Championship)

Drew – Preston 2-2 Wycombe (Sky Bet Championship)

Last Meeting vs Preston North End.jpg

Last Time We Met

The two sides last met in League One in February 2015 as the Sky Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat at Deepdale.

Veteran striker Kevin Davies headed home the game’s only goal on 21 minutes from Paul Gallagher’s floated cross.

The forward was then denied by a stunning save from Lee Burge, with the Sky Blues keeper spectacularly tipping Davies’ close-range effort over the bar.

Frank Nouble came close to finding an equaliser but blazed his effort over the bar after good work from Luke Williams.

John Fleck then agonisingly struck the woodwork with a superb effort from 35-yards out in injury-time.

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues Wins – 10

Draws – 14

Preston Wins – 16

Club Connections

Tom Bayliss.jpeg

Tom Bayliss

Current Preston midfielder Tom Bayliss came through the Sky Blues academy before departing for Deepdale at the beginning of last season.

He scored within two minutes of making his league debut for the Sky Blues and helped City achieve promotion from League Two via the play-offs, starting in the final against Exeter City at Wembley.

The 21-year-old spent one more season with City before joining Preston in August 2019, departing the club having made 73 appearances scoring nine goals.

Since his move to Lancashire, Bayliss has struggled to break into the Preston side and has made just seven appearances for Alex Neil’s side over the last two seasons.

Sam Allardyce.jpg

Sam Allardyce

Newly appointed West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce featured for both clubs during his playing career.

Allardyce spent nine years with Bolton Wanderers, winning the Second Division title during his time with the Trotters, before enjoying spells with Sunderland, Millwall and Tampa Bay Rowdies in the United States.

He joined the Sky Blues ahead of the 1983/84 season and was made club captain by manager Bobby Gould making 32 appearances for City scoring one goal.

After being released at the end of the season he joined Huddersfield Town and then re-signed for Bolton before completing a move to Preston prior to the start of the 1986/87 campaign.

His presence at the back saw the Lilywhites achieve promotion to the third-tier in his first season at Deepdale, going on to make 116 appearances for the club scoring four goals.

He finished his career with spells at West Brom and Limerick, winning the League of Ireland First Division title as player-manager with the latter, before briefly playing for, and taking caretaker charge of, Preston during the 1992/93 season.

Since his retirement, the 66-year-old has achieved promotion with Notts County, Bolton and West Ham United and infamously left his role as England manager after just one game in charge following corruption allegations.

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Match Officials

Keith Stroud will be the man in the middle on Tuesday night, taking charge of his 19th game of the 2020/21 season.

He last refereed the Sky Blues in November when City played out a 1-1 draw with league leaders Norwich City at Carrow Road.

This will be Stroud’s 17th season as a Football League referee and he has officiated the Sky Blues on 15 occasions, with City winning three, drawing four and losing eight of those matches.

So far, Stroud has awarded 44 yellow cards and one red card across 18 matches in the Championship, League Two and Carabao Cup.

He will be assisted by Jonathan Hunt and Matthew Jones with Lewis Smith acting as fourth official.

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Match Reports

REPORT: Preston North End 2-0 Sky Blues

City end the year with defeat at Deepdale...

29 December 2020

The Sky Blues suffered a two-nil defeat against Preston North End on a bitterly cold Tuesday night at Deepdale.

Goals in either half from Daniel Johnson and Sean Maguire means City have now lost back-to-back away matches in the league.

Despite applying plenty of pressure, City couldn’t find a way back into the game and will now look to regroup as they head into the new year.

Mark Robins made one change from the side that drew with Stoke City on Boxing Day with Ryan Giles coming in for Sam McCallum at wing-back.

The Sky Blues had the first shot at goal when a corner from the left was worked to Gus Hamer whose shot from 35-yards out was comfortably saved by Preston keeper Declan Rudd.

Preston then took the lead on 18 minutes when Maguire robbed Ben Sheaf of possession on the edge of the Sky Blues penalty area before finding Johnson who finished low into the bottom left corner from eight-yards out.

City almost responded straight from the restart when Matty Godden’s low cross from the right found Hamer bursting into the area only for Rudd to hold onto the midfielder’s effort.

The hosts looked to add to their lead when Johnson crossed for Alan Browne from the right-hand edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder’s header was easily gathered by Ben Wilson.


City made a quick start to the second-half when Fankaty Dabo’s venomous cross from the right was pushed to safety by Rudd, inside the first minute of the restart.

The Sky Blues continued to search for an equaliser when Giles’ cross from the left was headed over by Callum O’Hare under pressure from a Preston defender.

Preston doubled their lead against the run of play when Maguire turned the ball home from close range after a goalmouth scramble.

Robins made a double change just before the hour mark with Jordan Shipley and Max Biamou introduced as City looked to find a way back into the game.

Jamie Allen was next to try his luck for City, but couldn’t control his volley from 20-yards out with his effort flying over the crossbar.

City made another double substitution with 20 minutes left to play as McCallum and Will Bapaga were brought on with City still searching for a way back into the contest.

The Sky Blues almost halved the deficit when Hamer’s corner from the left was met by the head of Leo Ostigard who couldn’t quite steer his effort on target under pressure from close range.

Hamer once again forced Rudd into a smart save when his thunderous half-volley from 25-yards out was pushed clear before McCallum’s deflected drive was held by the Lilywhites keeper.

McCallum made a superb block late on to deny Emil Riis Jakobsen from adding a third goal for the home side as City finished the year with a defeat ahead of their trip to Millwall at the weekend.



Goals: Johnson (18’), Maguire (53’)

Yellows: Hughes (31‘), Earl (63‘), Maguire (89’)


Preston North End XI: Declan Rudd (GK), Darnell Fisher, Paul Huntington, Ben Davies, Andrew Hughes, Josh Earl (Jakobsen 68‘), Alan Browne (C) (Potts 56’), Paul Gallagher (Ledson 62’), Daniel Johnson, Sean Maguire, Tom Barkhuizen

Unused Subs: Connor Ripley (GK), Jordan Storey, Joe Rafferty, Tom Bayliss, Josh Harrop, Jayden Stockley


Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean (C), Dom Hyam, Ryan Giles (McCallum 70’), Gustavo Hamer, Ben Sheaf (Biamou 59‘), Jamie Allen (Bapaga 70’), Callum O’Hare (Shipley 59‘), Matty Godden

Unused Subs: Lee Camp (GK), Julien Dacosta, Josh Pask, Marcel Hilssner, Amadou Bakayoko

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