Preston North End’s last game in front of supporters at Deepdale was last March’s home game against Queens Park Rangers.
So, on the week the government laid out the roadmap which will hopefully see everyone back in PR1 for the 2021/22 season, it is perhaps fitting that Mark Warburton’s men are the visitors for this game, which is being televised on Sky Sports.
The London club have been in excellent form since the new year, winning six of their last seven games, to move one place above the Lilywhites in the Championship table.
The reverse clash, down at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium back in October, saw penalties from Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair give PNE the win, with a positive performance they will look to repeat on home soil.
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (32/46)
Date: Wednesday 24th February, kick-off 7.45pm
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Kit: 2020/21 home kit – click here to buy it now!
Head To Head: PNE wins – 18; Draws – 16; QPR - 12
Manager Alex Neil will again wait to see how midfielder Ryan Ledson and forward Sean Maguire are, the duo having missed the last couple of games, along with Welsh winger Billy Bodin.
Declan Rudd and Patrick Bauer have already been ruled out for the season, whilst Louis Moult is still a few weeks away from a return, after a long spell out with a knee injury
Mark Warburton, speaking to club website qpr.co.uk before the game, said that he was less likely to make changes from his side’s win over AFC Bournemouth last weekend due to the game being on a Wednesday and not a Sunday.
Defender Jordy de Wijs midfielders George Thomas and Faysal Battache are all expecting to play for the R’s U23s in the midweek, meaning they would return against Birmingham City, but not in time to face the Lilywhites.
Taking charge of Wednesday’s game is now Premier League official Darren England, who last officiated at Deepdale on the opening day of the 2018/19 campaign, when we faced… Queens Park Rangers! Alan Browne proving to be the match-winner that afternoon.
He has officiated PNE since, but on our travels, in the latter half of last season, refereeing our last ever trip to Griffin Park and the excellent 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium in February.
Darren also refereed PNE in the 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough back at the beginning of October 2019. The previous year, as well as our win over Queens Park Rangers, he took charge of the thrilling 3-3 draw with Aston Villa at Villa Park in what proved to be Steve Bruce’s last game in charge of our opponents.
In 2017/18 Darren officiated three North End games, another draw at Middlesbrough in August, the 2-2 clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage and the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in February.
In total so far this season, he officiated in 31 games, issuing 119 cautions and five red cards, his last game being the goalless draw between Brighton & Hove Albion and Villa on 13th February.
This Wednesday night he will be assisted by Ian Hussin and James Mainwaring, whilst the fourth official will be experienced Australian Championship referee Jarred Gillett.
North End fans in the UK and Ireland can listen Wednesday’s game live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £2.50 audio match pass available now.
Jonathan Breeze and former North End winger Ross Wallace are on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from Deepdale from approximately 7.15pm on Wednesday evening.
In some countries, where the game is not sold – check your local listings if the game is on – then match passes will still be available to watch the game – click below to see if it is available in your region.
Alex Neil: “We Are More Than Capable”: Preston North End manager Alex Neil says his players must ‘show their best selves’ when they face Queens Park Rangers in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Wednesday night. Click here for the full interview.
A Match To Remember: It’s an astonishing 20 years ago this month that the Lilywhites put Gerry Francis’ Queens Park Rangers to the sword at Deepdale in what was American loanee Brian McBride’s last game with the club whilst over from MLS side Columbus Crew. Click here for the details.
Anthony Gordon Looking To Celebrate With Three Points: Preston North End’s on loan Everton attacker Anthony Gordon turns 20 on Wednesday and he is looking to celebrate his birthday with a big performance and result against Queens Park Rangers. Click here for Anthony’s thoughts.
The One And Only Issue 16: This Wednesday night’s matchday programme sees Irish international loanee Jayson Molumby as the main interviewee. Click here for more information and to order your copy.