The Lilywhites enter the Emirates FA Cup at the third round stage and come up against a former fan favourite in Gareth Ainsworth and his Wycombe Wanderers side on Saturday afternoon.
The Chairboys have overcome non-league opposition – away at Solihull Moors and at home to Leatherhead – to become one of the 44 EFL teams to make it to the third round stage, the first time since 1951 that there hasn’t been a single non-league team at this stage of the competition!
The wholehearted ex-PNE winger is now into his sixth year as the manager at Adams Park and is closing in on 300 games in charge of the Buckinghamshire outfit and this will be the second time he has taken charge against his former employers, Kevin Davies scoring a stunning winner when the two sides met at the second round stage back in December 2013.
This time around both sides enter the game in decent form. North End suffered their first defeat in ten games despite a superb performance on New Year’s Day, whilst Ainsworth’s side receorded a 2-1 victory at Forest Green Rovers to maintain their position in the Play-Off places, just one place and one point behind current third and final automatic promotion place holders Coventry City, illustrating that the Lilywhites will need to be at the top of their game in order to earn a place in the last 32 of the famous old competition.
The Lilywhites could have both of their new signings available for selection, with Billy Bodin, who completed his move from Bristol Rovers on Wednesday, joining Louis Moult in the squad, after clearance for both was received and the former not being cup tied, having been injured when the Gas Men exited the competition back in November.