PNE’s first season back in the Championship also marks a familiar match-up between Lancashire rivals Burnley.
Two tiers separated these two last season, but following Burnley’s relegation and Preston’s promotion, Burnley will come to Deepdale for the first time in four years on the 23rd April.
Sean Dyche had aspirations of defying the odds again last season after sealing promotion to the top flight with one of the league’s lowest budgets.
But despite winning many admirers, the Clarets fell short and finished second from bottom after just one season in the big time.
Head to Head
The first encounter between these two sides just so happened to be on the opening game of the Football League’s first ever season in 1888.
But both sides had to wait a little longer before kicking their first ball of the new league format, with Burnley, the visitors arriving an hour late, forcing the game to be kicked off at 3:50pm instead of a traditional 3:00pm kick off.
Burnley’s tardiness did little to disrupt North End’s rhythm, with Fred Dewhurst scoring barely after the referee had blew for kick off to give Preston the lead.
That was soon followed with goals from Jack Gordon, Dewhurst again and Jimmy Ross also grabbing a brace to give Preston a comfortable 5-2 victory.
Just 25 miles separate two of the most historic grounds in English football in Deepdale and Turf Moor.
Much has changed since PNE played there for the first time in 1888, with renovation work going underway as early as last season.
The 21,000 capacity stadium underwent ground renovations to comply with Premier League regulations last year which included a relocation of the players tunnel, and upgrades to seating in the David Fishwick stand, where North End fans will be housed when they make the journey to East Lancashire later on in the year.
Played for Both
Endless players have played for the White, and Claret of Lancashire over the years – from Brian Mooney and Kurt Nogan to Gary Parkinson and Eric Potts.
But when you’re picking out players to have played for both, few will have down that Andy Saville also represented the pair.
‘Sav’ burst onto the scene at Preston in his first and only full season at North End scoring 30 goals in 1996.
Prior to that, he’d spent a brief loan at Burnley the year before, but didn’t make anywhere near the same impact making just four appearance for the Clarets.