Preston North End will play their first game in over three weeks on Monday afternoon as they travel to the Potteries to face Stoke City.
Venue: bet365 Stadium
Date: Monday 3rd January, 3pm kick-off
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (Matchday 23/46)
Kit: Away kit – available to order here!
Tickets for this fixture are now off sale and Stoke City have also confirmed they will not be selling to PNE supporters on the day of the game.
Any purchased tickets which have not yet been collected can be picked up from turnstile 55 in the away end.
Those attending the game who are aged 18 and over will be required to provide Covid-19 certification on entry to the stadium, whether that be with a digital Covid-19 pass, a paper Covid-19 pass or a negative Lateral Flow Test within the 48 hours before kick-off. Find full details on how to obtain one of these here.
Supporters in the UK and Ireland not able to make it to the game can listen to live commentary on iFollow PNE with a £2.50 match pass or £4.49 monthly pass, and fans overseas can watch the match live for £10. Click here to subscribe now!
We will also have our usual coverage across our social media platforms before, during and after the game, while live updates can be found on our match centre here on PNE.Com.
The Weekend Warm Up
As we look ahead to Monday's game, former PNE and Stoke City player Paul Gallagher joins us to discuss his time with both clubs, while Gally also talks us through his busy 2021, as he made the journey from player to coach at Deepdale.
Members of our first team squad also pick out their favourite memory from the last 12 months, watch the episode in full above or by clicking here.
PNE Team News
After a significant number of the squad received positive Covid-19 tests last week, most of the players returned to training at Euxton on Thursday afternoon.
Ryan Lowe admitted that he will have a much better idea of who will be available for selection closer to matchday, with many of his players only just having begun a phased return at the time of his press conference.
The manager did confirm that Matthew Olosunde, Ched Evans and Tom Barkhuizen - who all missed the last game against Barnsley - had taken some part in training.
Stoke City themselves have recently been away from Championship action due to Covid-19 cases within their squad, and they made a disappointing return to league football on Thursday evening, losing at home to Derby County.
Under former Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill, Stoke have enjoyed a positive first half to the campaign, spending their time in and around the top six.
Their home defeat to Derby was a missed opportunity to close in on that final Play-Off spot, which they are four points away from, albeit with two games in hand heading in to the weekend’s round of fixtures.
PNE have enjoyed their visits to face Stoke City since their return to the Championship, having taken seven points from a possible nine on the Potters’ home turf.
Their form at the bet365 Stadium was a real strong point at the beginning of the season, earning 16 points from their first six home matches, however they’ve won just one of their last five in the league there.
Stoke City pose one of the strongest defences in the league, conceding 23 goals in their 23 games so far this campaign.
Our Last Meeting
A stunning strike from Ben Whiteman earned PNE a point when Stoke City came to Deepdale in September.
Nick Powell had put the visitors ahead within seven minutes, but Whiteman got the equaliser with a fantastic free-kick from 20 yards before half-time.
Daniel Iversen had a pivotal part to play in between the sticks, too, coming up with big saves against the likes of Powell and Josh Tymon.
Man In The Middle
Jeremy Simpson will take charge of Monday’s fixture, for what will be his second PNE game of the campaign.
The Lilywhites have had some difficult days with Simpson in the middle, with the last three games having been away defeats to Queens Park Rangers, Cardiff City and Luton Town respectively.
So far this season, Simpson has refereed 15 games, showing 53 yellow cards and three reds.