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New To The Championship in 2023/24

7 June 2023

North End will face six new opponents in the Championship in 2023/24, with three coming down from the Premier League and three coming up from League One. We’ve taken a closer look at each of them.

Leicester City

Since their historic Premier League title-winning campaign of 2015/16, Leicester had finished outside of the top half of the top-flight on just one occasion, meaning last season’s relegation came as somewhat of a shock to plenty in the football world.

The Foxes are yet to appoint a manager, but with key duo Youri Tielemans and Çağlar Söyüncü released a couple of days ago there will be a few gaps to fill during their summer recruitment drive with owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha keen to guide the club back to a league they conquered a mere seven years ago.

Last season’s finish: 18th in Premier League

Last time in the Championship: 2013/14

Last meeting with PNE: 15th January 2011 | Preston North End 1-1 Leicester City [Championship]

Promotion Odds: 13/8

Stadium: King Power Stadium

Capacity: 32,261

Distance from Deepdale: 131 miles




Leeds United

After a 16-year wait to return to the Premier League following their relegation in 2004, Argentinian veteran Marcelo Bielsa masterminded the West Yorkshire club’s return to the top-flight in 2020.

Finishing 9th in their first season back at the top table (2020/21), the following campaign proved to be more turbulent with Bielsa sacked and replaced by American Jesse Marsch who himself was relieved of his duties midway through the 2022/23 campaign.

Defensive frailties ultimately proved costly for United in an unforgiving division and after three seasons they were relegated back to the Championship despite Sam Allardyce’s last-ditch attempts to secure safety.

Last season’s finish: 19th in Premier League

Last time in the Championship: 2019/20

Last meeting with PNE: 26th December 2019 | Leeds United 1-1 Preston North End [Championship]

Promotion Odds: 2/1

Stadium: Elland Road

Capacity: 37,890

Distance from Deepdale: 66 miles





The Saints enjoyed a stint in the Premier League that lasted more than a decade, but the south coast club drop back into the Championship for the first time since 2011/12 following a hugely disappointing campaign.

Quickly making progress following their promotion eleven years ago, Southampton attained European qualification under Ronald Koeman and Claude Puel in back-to-back seasons (2015/16 and 2016/17) but following that they never managed to secure a top-half finish.

Yet to appoint a manager and facing the realistic prospect of losing some of their stars, the Saints will still be backed by many to mount a promotion challenge in 2023/24.

Last season’s finish: 20th in Premier League

Last time in the Championship: 2011/12

Last meeting with PNE: 21st September 2011 | Southampton 2-1 Preston North End [League Cup]

Promotion Odds: 5/1

Stadium: St. Mary’s Stadium

Capacity: 32,384

Distance from Deepdale: 248 miles




Plymouth Argyle

Argyle are no strangers to the Championship having spent seven successive seasons at the level between 2004 and 2010, but few would have predicted the truly outstanding campaign that Steven Schumacher’s side would have in 2022/23 to secure a return to the second tier.

With heavily-fancied Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday breathing down their necks for most of the campaign, the Pilgrims stood firm to reach an incredible 101 points and win the League One title – amassing 31 wins from 46 matches, with 20 of those coming on their own patch at Home Park.

Last season’s finish: 1st in League One

Last time in the Championship: 2009/10

Last meeting with PNE: 6th March 2010 | Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Preston North End [Championship]

Promotion Odds: 40/1

Stadium: Home Park

Capacity: 17,900

Distance from Deepdale: 304 miles




Ipswich Town

It took Ipswich Town four attempts to secure a return to the Championship, but they did so in style last term by securing automatic promotion with 101 goals scored and 98 points on the board. Statistically the Tractorboys had the best attacking and defensive output in the division and ultimately achieved a deserved elevation back to the second tier.

Well-supported and traditionally well-backed in the transfer market, Kieran McKenna and his side will likely aspire to immediately join the fight for a play-off place this coming campaign.

Last season’s finish: 2nd in League One

Last time in the Championship: 2018/19

Last meeting with PNE: 19th April 2019 | Preston North End 4-0 Ipswich Town [Championship]

Promotion Odds: 11/2

Stadium: Portman Road

Capacity: 29,673

Distance from Deepdale: 256 miles




Sheffield Wednesday

Promoted with a last-gasp Josh Windass goal in the League One play-off final just over a week ago, Wednesday returned to the Championship after a couple of seasons away putting the pain of last season’s semi-final defeat to Sunderland behind them.

Darren Moore’s side amassed an impressive 96 points in 2022/23 but ultimately fell a couple of points short of Ipswich to finish 3rd. A shock 4-0 defeat at Peterborough in the first leg of their semi-final meant the odds were well and truly stacked against them, but a 5-1 win after extra time at Hillsborough forced penalties.

Jack Hunt’s emphatic spot-kick secured the best comeback in the history of the play-offs and a comeback that set them on their way to promotion.

Last season’s finish: 3rd in League One [Promoted via the play-offs]

Last time in the Championship: 2020/21

Last meeting with PNE: 30th January 2021 | Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Preston North End [Championship]

Promotion Odds: 9/1

Stadium: Hillsborough Stadium

Capacity: 34,835

Distance from Deepdale: 71 miles

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