We preview the Lancashire side
League 1 preview:
Next on our look through League 1 is Lancashire side Preston North End. After the fixtures were confirmed on Wednesday we now know that we will be playing Preston on November 26 at Vale Park and we will be seeing in the new year at Deepdale on January 1 2014.
Team: Preston North End
The former Championship club have struggled in recent years, finishing in fifteenth place in 2012 and fourteenth in 2013. This is a side that were challenging for Play-Off places in the Championship only a few years ago.
The new season will see a fresh start for manager Simon Grayson after he was installed as manager halfway through the previous campaign after the dismissal of Graham Westley in February.
One of the favourites for promotion despite recent season’s short fallings showcases the size of the club.
England Under 21 international Declan Rudd has returned for another loan spell from Premier League side Norwich City after playing 14 games last season.
Elswhere former Huddersfield Town centre-back Tom Clarke has joined the club on a free transfer. The 25-year-old is highly rated and has represented England at youth level.
Preston have also confirmed the signing of Motherwell winger Chris Humphrey, the Jamaican international is a former Shrewsbury Town player and has been a key player for Motherwell in recent season’s.
Heading out the exit door is defender Luke Foster the 27-year-old has been released.
Manager: Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson took Leeds United as far as he could before leaving in February 2012.
Grayson is a bit of a specialist in getting sides promoted from League 1 after leading Blackpool to Play-Off promotion in 2007, Leeds United to promotion as runners-up in 2010 and Huddersfield Town to promotion as Play-Off winners in 2012.
Will it be Preston next?
Key Man: Scott Laird
The Somerset-born defender endured an interesting first season at Deepdale, which ended early after suffering a broken leg in November against Notts County. The former Plymouth Argyle player joined Preston from Stevenage and has impressed despite his recent lay-off.
The versatile defender can play across the back four and is a goal threat. Laird scored four goals in his 24 appearances last season, which is a respectable return for a defender.
Expect Laird to be at the marshalling the defence when Preston arrive at Vale Park in November
Promotion odds: 9/2