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02 April 2021 Venue Deepdale Attendance

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Match Previews

Norwich City Match Preview

31 March 2021

We’re back at Deepdale this Friday, as a new era begins for Preston North End, with interim head coach Frankie McAvoy at the helm as the Lilywhites host runaway league leaders Norwich City – his former employers.

First Team News

Watch North End Take On The Canaries On iFollow PNE

30 March 2021

The international break has given him the chance to work with the players over an extended period before his first game in charge, with just the suspended club captain, Alan Browne and Jayson Molumby away with Ireland during this period.

The visitors have been in fine form of late, going into the game 11 games unbeaten and look almost certainties to return straight to the Premier League, a feat Daniel Farke will have achieved twice in three seasons in they complete the job.

But the home side will be looking to cause a little bump in the road on that journey by collecting the three points as they start an Easter programme which sees games against three of the top four as opponents.

Match Information
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (39/46)
Date: Friday 2nd April, kick-off 3pm
Venue: Deepdale
Kit: 2020/21 home kit – click here to buy it now!
League Head To Head: PNE wins – 16; Draws – 15; Norwich City - 14

Team News
Louis Moult has returned to full training after 18 months out, although he will need to be eased back into action, having not kicked a ball competitively since the trip to Swansea in August 2019.

Declan Rudd revealed this week that he hopes to be back outside next week, whilst Patrick Bauer is back running, as both look to be ready to start full training at the beginning of pre-season.

Alan Browne sits out the second of his three game ban, following his controversial red card at Middlesbrough, whilst Jayson Molumby will return from international with Ireland on Thursday, just 24 hours ahead of the game.

Norwich City defender Ben Gibson will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle ligament injury. Gibson, on loan from Premier League side Burnley, was forced off in the 83rd minute of the Canaries' 1-1 draw against Blackburn last Saturday and the club have said that he will now undergo surgery before beginning a period of rehabilitation.

Daniel Farke had 14 players, at different levels, away on international duty this week, but he will hope Lukas Rupp, who missed the visit of Blackburn Rovers because of a hamstring injury, may have improved.

Furthermore, Adam Idah, who underwent successful hernia surgery the Friday before the break, will hope to have moved closer to a return over the two week gap, although this match is expected to be too soon for the Irish international forward.

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Match Officials
Good Friday’s game sees Dean Whitestone appointed as the match official, his fourth PNE game this season – but his first at Deepdale - having taken charge of the 4-2 away win at Brentford back in October, December’s trip to Barnsley and January’s clash with Bristol City.

He also refereed four North End games in 2019/20, including the home game with QPR and our home win over Charlton Athletic in late January.

The Northamptonshire official has refereed PNE games on 16 previous occasions, the first of which was at Bramall Lane back in October 2008.

He has officiated 27 games so far this campaign, issuing 53 cautions and three red cards – including Norwich City’s 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park back in December.

Two of the stand-out PNE games he has been in charge of, were a previous 3-0 victory at Barnsley in August 2009, and a 3-1 triumph on the road at Doncaster in October 2012.

The rest of Friday’s official will be made up of assistant referees Nik Barnard and Matthew McGrath, whilst the fourth official will be Samuel Barrott.

Match Coverage
North End fans in the UK and Ireland can watch Friday’s game exclusively live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £10 match pass available now.

Jonathan Breeze and former North End central defender Michael Jackson are on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from Deepdale from approximately 2.30pm on Good Friday afternoon.

Click here now to sign up for a match pass

Linked Stories
The ‘Ultimate Pride’ For Frankie McAvoy: Interim head coach Frankie McAvoy will take charge of Preston North End for the first time when the Lilywhites line up against his former employers Norwich City on Good Friday. Click here for the full interview.

A Match To Remember: Back in September 2001, a brilliant first half performance saw the Lilywhites blow away the Canaries at Deepdale. Click here for the details.

Ryan Ledson Looking To Step Up: He may only be 23-years-old, but in his third year at the club, Ryan Ledson believes he has to try and share the burden of leadership in the dressing room. Click here for Ryan’s thoughts.

The One And Only Issue 20: This Good Friday, the cover star of the 20th edition of The One And Only is striker Ched Evans. Click here for more information and to order your copy.

A Foot In Both Camps: Preston North End’s No.1, Declan Rudd, looks back on his time with the Canaries, updates on his injury and gives us his thoughts ahead of Frankie McAvoy’s first game as interim head coach. Click here to read the interview.

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Match Reports

Preston North End 1 Norwich City 1

2 April 2021

A strike from substitute Brad Potts, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, gave Frankie McAvoy a first point as interim head coach against runaway league leaders Norwich City at Deepdale.

First Team News

McAvoy Hails Players’ ‘Magnificent’ Effort

2 April 2021

The 25-yard deflected shot flew into the bottom left-hand corner of Tim Krul’s goal to spark wild celebrations; levelling up Emi Buendia’s first half effort.

McAvoy’s first team selection saw two up front, with Emil Riis alongside Ched Evans, in one of three changes from the Luton Town game, with Andrew Hughes back from injury and Tom Barkhuizen returning to the starting XI as well.

And the Lilywhites started on the front foot and had chances to be at couple of goals ahead before the visitors grabbed the lead.

As early as the sixth minute, a good left-wing corner from Ryan Ledson to the back post found the rising Jordan Storey, but the central defender couldn’t get above the ball and his header was over the bar.

All the throw ins in the final third were being put into the box with Tom Barkhuizen’s long efforts and an early one was flicked on by Riis, chopped in by Scott Sinclair and then Evans, on the spin, couldn’t quite squeeze his shot into the corner.

Daniel Iversen had been a spectator for much of the early part of the game, but he made a smart stop from Bali Mumba, who had got into the box down the right.

A superb chance fell to North End on the quarter mark, a Barkhuizen zipped the ball into Evans, who turned the ball around the corner for Riis, who was in behind and one-on-one with Krul, but the Dutch international stood up well and saved with his legs, the rebound coming out and hitting Evans square in the face, but flying just wide.

And within 60 seconds another good opportunity came, as Evans stood up a cross from the right side of the penalty area, Barkhuizen made an excellent header back across the six-yard box for Sinclair, whose shot was blocked on the line by Andrew Omobamidele.

First Team News

Potts Praises Togetherness of PNE Squad

2 April 2021

But they were made to pay for their missed opportunities on 17 minutes when a shot was blocked by Liam Lindsay, who lay prone in the ‘D’, the North End players expecting referee Dean Whitestone stop the game, but Buendia collected the rebound and curled a left-foot effort into the bottom left-hand corner from 22 yards.

The home side had a chance to get back on level terms just before the interval, when Hughes found Riis in the left corner of the area; the Dane checked inside and drilled a shot towards goal, but it came off the back of Canaries' skipper Grant Hanley’s head and behind for a corner.

Riis was very honest just after half-time when he drove into the box down the right; Hanley was all over the PNE striker, and tried to wrestle him to the floor, but the No.19 stayed on his feet and his cross was blocked. On many occasions on the afternoon the visitors yells were met with free kicks, but the striker’s honesty got him no reward on more than one occasion.

Teemu Pukki had been quiet, but he had three good chances in the second half to add to the Norwich lead, the best of which came on 54 minutes, as he drove a shot against the bar from a tight right-hand angle, the ball flying away to safety.

But when it looked like the chance to get anything from the game had come and gone, with four minutes additional time signalled, just past the allocated end, Ryan Ledson – who had taken the captain’s armband for the last half hour – played the ball into Potts, who collected and fired a shot that came off both Oliver Skipp and Omobamidele and flew past Krul into the bottom left-hand corner.

Potts charged to the bench in celebration, joined by the staff, substitutes and all 11 players on the pitch, showing a true togetherness, with the whistle following almost immediately after the restart, as the new era at Deepdale got up and running with a good point against the league leaders.

PNE line-up: Iversen, van den Berg, Hughes, Ledson, Storey, Lindsay, Barkhuizen (Maguire, 71), Johnson (c) (Potts, 64), Evans (Whiteman, 71), Riis (Gordon, 71), Sinclair (Molumby, 57). Subs not used: Hudson, Bayliss, Huntington, Bodin.

Norwich City line-up: Krul, Hanley (c), Dowell (Stiepermann, 72), Cantwell (Hernandez, 89), Quintilla, Buendia (Skipp, 82), Sorensen, Pukki (Hugill, 89), McLean, Mumba, Omobamidele. Subs not used: Nyland, Vrancic, Placheta, Martin, Tettey.

Referee: Mr D Whitestone.

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