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05 April 2021 Venue Liberty Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

Swansea City Match Preview

3 April 2021

Preston North End, buoyed by the late, late show against league leaders Norwich City on Good Friday, face their second of three games against teams in the top four on Easter Monday, as they travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Steve Cooper’s Swansea City.

First Team News

Watch PNE Face Swansea City Live On iFollow PNE

3 April 2021

The reverse fixture was the opening day of the season, when the Welsh visitors took the points with the only goal of the game and they have done well since then to stay in the fight for the automatic promotion positions, a battle they are still in despite their recent drop off in results.

For the Lilywhites, it is a first away game for interim head coach Frankie McAvoy, who saw his side take a point off his former employers thanks to Brad Potts’ deflected strike in the fifth minute on stoppage time on Friday afternoon.

Steve Cooper’s men played their first game of the Easter weekend on Friday night, losing to a late penalty from Scott Hogan, against Lee Bowyer’s improving Birmingham City at St Andrews.

Match Information
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (40/46)
Date: Monday 5th April, kick-off 3pm
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Kit: 2020/21 blue away kit – click here to buy it now!
Head To Head: PNE wins – 20; Draws – 18; Swansea City - 26

Team News
Skipper Alan Browne sits out his final match of his three game ban for his red card against Middlesbrough last month.

Frankie McAvoy said after Friday’s game that Greg Cunningham was set to miss the game as well, with Declan Rudd and Patrick Bauer ruled out for the season.

Steve Cooper is without US international Paul Arriola, who has returned to parent club DC United after a recurrence of his thigh injury that will rule him out for the rest of the season.

The Swans boss had top scorer Andre Ayew and Conor Hourihane (on the bench) back from injury for the clash against the Blues and Marc Guehi went straight back into the side after international duty.

Liam Cullen looks likely to remain sidelined, although he is is making good progress in his rehab following an ankle injury.

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Match Officials
The Easter Monday match official is Select Group One referee Peter Bankes, who is now a regular in the Premier League.

His last PNE game was way back in November 2018, when he took charge against Deepdale for a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.

He has twice been to the Liberty Stadium this season, however, a goalless draw with AFC Bournemouth in December and their 3-1 Emirates FA Cup loss to Premier League leaders Manchester City in February.

Before the aforementioned Boro game, Peter’s last game as referee for PNE was the 2017/18 Gentry Day at at Bolton Wanderers. As well as the win at the Macron Stadium, he also took charge of the last two clashes with Aston Villa at Deepdale, our FA Cup third round victory over Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park back in January 2017 and the 1-1 draw with Barnsley in September 2017.

Other games in the past have included Leeds United at Elland Road in April 2017, the 2014/15 season’s 3-2 home win over Port Vale in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the 2015/16 1-0 defeat of Hull City 1-0 just after Christmas.

This is his seventh year on the officials’ list and he also took charge of our win at Chesterfield in February 2015, when Joe Garner scored twice on his return from a period out injured.

The assistants on Monday afternoon will be Nick Greenhalgh and James Mainwaring , with Sam Allison acting as fourth official.

Match Coverage
North End fans everywhere can watch Monday’s game exclusively live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £10 audio match pass available now.

Jonathan Breeze and former North End full back Rob Edwards are on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from the Liberty Stadium from approximately 2.30pm on Monday afternoon.

Click here now to sign up for a match pass

Linked Stories
Frankie McAvoy Concentrating On The ‘Here And Now’: Preston North End’s interim head coach Frankie McAvoy has stressed the need to keep looking forward as his team head to Swansea City on Easter Monday. Click here for the full interview.

A Match To Remember: We go not to South Wales, but to the midlands for our match to remember ahead of our Easter Monday clash with the Jacks. Click here for the details.

Emil Riis: “Next Time The Finish Will Be There” - Preston North End’s Danish U21 striker Emil Riis is looking to get back on the scoresheet as the Lilywhites head to South Wales to face Swansea City on Easter Monday. Click here for Emil’s thoughts.

A Foot In Both Camps: With the Lilywhites heading to the Liberty Stadium on Easter Monday, iFollow PNE sat down with a man who has very fond memories of playing for the Welsh club, albeit he will be hoping for a PNE win! Click here to hear from Scott.

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Match Reports

Swansea City 0 Preston North End 1

5 April 2021

Preston North End won their first game in Swansea for 60 years, thanks to an injury-time own goal by home skipper Matt Grimes.

It was no more than the Lilywhites deserved as they played on the front foot from the off and dominated their lofty opponents and were rewarded right at the death when former City man Scott Sinclair saw a shot saved, the rebound coming off the midfielder and into the goal.

Interim head coach Frankie McAvoy made two changes to the side that grabbed a last-minute point against league leaders Norwich City in the previous game, with Daniel Johnson ruled out through injury - Ben Whiteman and Friday’s equalising goalscorer Brad Potts coming into the side, former Swan Scott Sinclair dropping to the bench.

With Alan Browne sitting out the last of his three-match ban and Johnson unavailable, Ryan Ledson was handed the captain’s armband from the start for the first time, whilst there were places on the bench for youth team full back Lewis Coulton, first team coach Paul Gallagher and, for the first time since injuring himself at the Liberty Stadium 18 months ago, Louis Moult was included in the 20-man squad.

The changes also came with a switch in formation; Welshman Andrew Hughes joining Liam Lindsay and Jordan Storey as a back three, with Potts in behind a front two of another Welsh-born player in Ched Evans and strike partner Emil Riis.

An early corner in the seventh minute from skipper Ledson, from the right, gave Whiteman two good chances to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, both times seeing Ben Cabango getting good blocks in to deny the Blues the opener.

It was a strong opening quarter of an hour for the visitors, with Evans unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after a tangle of legs with Cabango, with the front three were causing a lot of problems for the Jacks' back line.

And on 21 minutes, another gilt-edged chance came PNE’s way as van den Berg won the ball down the right and fed Riis, who turned the ball inside for Ledson in the right corner of the penalty area. He then passed the ball across for the onrushing Potts, who took a touch and drilled a right-foot shot from 15 yards just over the right corner of Freddie Woodman’s post and bar.

Five minutes later and there was a huge penalty shout for PNE as Woodman came right through the back of Riis when trying to punch away; he sent the Danish U21 international to the turf and he could very easily have been awarded a spot kick.

Potts again was denied on 33 minutes, this time by a brilliant save from Woodman, tipping over the No.44’s effort after a counter attack, with van den Berg, Evans and Ledson combining, the latter playing the killer ball in to allow him to shoot from ten yards out in the right-hand channel.

In the final minute of the half, Marc Guehi might have been sent off. Ched Evans got in behind him and was clean through, with no obvious cover, and the defender brought down the PNE No.26, but referee Peter Bankes opted only to show a yellow card, with Potts unable to test Woodman from the resulting free-kick.

The Evans-and-Riis partnership was at the fore again nine minutes after the break, with the experienced frontman holding the ball up and then weighting a ball through for the No.19 to put pressure on Guehi again, the defender needing to make a perfectly-timed, last-ditch tackle.

There was a third North End shout for a penalty 12 minutes into the half, as Ledson’s right-wing corner was headed across goal by Evans, falling for Potts, who on the turn smashed a half-volley at goal, with Jay Fulton getting a hand up to protect his face, the ball going through the hands and smashing him full in the mouth, resulting in him needing treatment.

Potts again was sent through mid-way through the second period, this time by van den Berg, as he raced down the left-hand channel, shooting in the box, only for home captain Grimes to make a vital block to deny him the opening goal.

For the final quarter of an hour, Sinclair came on for Riis for his first appearance at the Liberty Stadium since leaving the club for Manchester City back in 2012.

And the No.31 had a great chance to win the game with six minutes left as van den Berg was found down the right and he played it to Evans, who clipped the ball over for the attacker to head goalwards from eight yards out, going just over Woodman’s bar.

Cabango denied another substitute, Jayson Molumby, with two minutes left, after fantastic vision from Barkhuizen to find the Irishman’s run at a tight angle on the left as he drilled it goalwards, with the young defender blocking on the line at point-blank range.

And in the first of three minutes of added time, the goal finally came. It was a Barkhuizen throw in from the left, flicked on by Storey, falling to Whiteman, who hit a shot that deflected into the path of Sinclair, who got in a shot. Woodman did brilliantly to save at the feet of the former Swan, but the ball came back out and off Swansea captain Grimes and into the empty net.

The celebrations, similar to those seen on Easter Monday to Norwich, saw all the team together, as they enjoyed the club's first ever points at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea City line-up: Woodman, Manning, Guehi, Fulton, Grimes (c), Lowe, Ayew, Hourihane (Dhanda, 80), Whittaker (Routledge, 81), Roberts, Cabango. Subs not used: Hamer, Bennett, Smith, Latibeaudiere, Bidwell, Naughton, Cooper.

PNE line-up: Iversen, van den Berg, Hughes, Ledson (c), Storey, Lindsay, Barkhuizen, Whiteman, Evans, Riis (Sinclair, 75), Potts (Molumby, 80). Subs not used: Hudson, Bayliss, Moult, Gallagher, Huntington, Coulton, Bodin.

Referee: Mr P Bankes.

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