Manchester City begin their defence of the League Cup as they take on Preston North End at Deepdale in Tuesday. The blues are looking to win the competition for the third season in a row, but face a difficult tie at the home of the Championship outfit.
On paper, it should be a routine victory for the blues, but history has shown that City don’t always follow the script. But here, we take a look at Preston, and see where they are and exactly the kind of threat they pose.
Currently, Preston sit third in the Championship table, having won five and lost two of their opening eight fixtures. They have won all their home league games this season, scoring 10 goals, and conceding just two. However they had a struggle in their home fixture of the League Cup against Hull, when they conceded a two goal lead and only managed to get through to the second round after wining the penalty shoot out.
They had no such worries in the second round as they dispatched Bradford City 4-0 at Valley Parade to set up the third round tie with City.
Preston’s top scorer is Daniel Johnson, who has scored four goals so far this season, but has also provided 3 assists. Tom Barkhuizen, Josh Harrop and Sean Maguire have all scored three each while Billy Bodin has weighed in with two goals.
While City were thrashing Watford on Saturday, Preston secured a more muted 2-0 victory over Brentford, with Maguire scoring after just four minutes and Barkhuizen adding the second with 20 minutes to go.
So far this season, Preston have score 12 goals in the first half of the match, while scoring just 7 in the second half and have kept five clean sheets in all competitions so far. However, they concede goals almost just as much in the first half as they do in the second, conceding 4 so far in the first half, while 5 have been scored past them in the second. Preston have also only failed to score once this season – a 1-0 defeat at Millwall.
The last time City played at Deepdale was February 2007 in the FA Cup which City won 3-1. The blues had been a goal down since the 8th minute, but a Michael Ball goal levelled the scores after Bernardo Corradi hit the post. City went in front on 85 minutes when Matt Hill put through his own goal, and Stephen Ireland wrapped up the win with a superb left foot volley from outside the area in the final minute.
Will the blues victor again at Deepdale or are Preston in the mood for a shock result?