Preston North End begin their 2020/21 preparations by facing Salford City on Saturday 22nd August in a 3pm kick-off.
The Lilywhites face the Ammies for the first time since Phil Brown’s side visited Moor Lane back in the pre-season of 2011, the day before now City boss Graham Alexander re-joined PNE after his departure from Burnley.
Since then, with their multiple promotions and growth as a club, Salford have risen to League Two, having been brought into the league for the first time under the management of the former North End favourite.
They held their own in their first season, with a number of ex-Lilywhites men in their ranks, such as Chris Neal and Scott Wiseman and whilst they have now moved on, they recruited another PNE legend this summer, with the signing of former club captain Tom Clarke on a two-year deal.
And with plenty more appearances alongside Alexander in the dugout, with Chris Lucketti, Carlo Nash and recently joined up Youl Mawene on the staff at the Peninsula Stadium, it will certainly be a game with plenty of interest.
Former PNE No.5 Clarke is one of a number of summer recruits at Salford, with fellow experienced players Ian Henderson, Jason Lowe, Jordan Turnbull, as well as Ash Hunter – who played under his new boss at Fleetwood Town.
This will be Salford’s third game of their pre-season preparations, having already hosted Crewe Alexandra and Lincoln City – defeating Michael Appleton’s Imps 1-0 in midweek.
For Alex Neil, his first team selection sees him likely to involve all his squad, other than Louis Moult, who is a couple of weeks away from re-joining the squad in full training, after a year on the sidelines due to the knee injury he picked up at Swansea City last August.
Josh Earl and Josh Ginnelly are both available, having returned from loans in the second half of last season and Ben’s Davies and Pearson, who both ended the 2019/20 campaign on the sidelines through injury, are fully fit and available for selection.
The gaffer revealed in his preview to the game that he is likely to give players more than the usual 45 minutes in their first match, with the shortened off season as well as only being three weeks from the opening day of the EFL Championship.
For the first time, the club will be broadcasting the game, along with Tuesday afternoon’s trip to face Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park, on YouTube, with Jonathan Breeze and former North End midfielder Paul McKenna presenting the broadcast from 2.50pm, followed by full coverage and commentary.
A story will appear on website as the top story, approximately an hour before kick-off, which will allow you access to watch the game, without the need for subscription.
The full match and highlights will also be uploaded to iFollow PNE, along with all the reaction after the game, for those who cannot watch live on Saturday afternoon.
North End will be wearing their newly launched 2020/21 home strip for the first time too!