Preston North End will be aiming to extend their unbeaten start to the 2023/24 Championship season as they travel to the Bet356 stadium to face Alex Neil’s Stoke City on Saturday at 3:00.
After a mixed start to Stoke's campaign, they currently sit in 10th place in the championship table, having amassed six points from their four league games, following two wins and two defeats
The Potters began the season with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Rotherham United, but have subsequently suffered defeats to newly-promoted Ipswich Town and Millwall. Stoke did manage to record a 1-0 victory over Watford in typical gritty fashion.
Alex Neil's summer transfer activity suggests that Stoke have high ambitions for this season.The Potters made some good signings in the summer transfer window, such as new goalkeeper, Mark Travers, from Bournemouth, as well as a new centre-back, Luke McNally, from Burnley.
They have also signed a new right-back, Ki-Jana Hoever, from Wolves, and a new midfielder, Mehdi Léris, from Sampdoria. However, Stokes early form this season would suggest that they have yet to gel as a team which may make this weekend’s tie an unpredictable one.
Stoke were able to regain some confidence in the week as they thrashed Rotherham 6-1 in the second round of the EFL cup. After making a storming start thanks to a second minute Wouter Burger strike, the Potters were able to continue their goalscoring prowess, netting six times in total.
Ryan Lowe’s side have started their campaign in impressive fashion and are still undefeated, having played four league games. This leaves the Lillywhites sitting in 5th place in the table, just two points behind Leicester who are leading the league.
After drawing to Bristol on the opening matchday of the season, Preston have since won three games on the bounce against Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea.Last time out, the Lillywhites came from behind to record a well-earned victory over Swansea.
Ryan Lowe found his side behind at the break, however second half goals from Andrew Hughes and Duane Holmes were enough to take all three points from the game.
Stoke City and Preston North End have a long and storied history, dating back to 1888. The two teams have met 150 times in all competitions, with Stoke City winning 67 matches, Preston North End winning 41 matches, and 42 matches being drawn.
In recent years, it has been Preston who have preferred this matchup, with the Lillywhites having won six of the last eleven meetings, whilst Stoke only won twice.The last time that these two sides met came in January in last year's Championship campaign. North End left it late but were able to take all three points thanks to a Ched evans winner in the 93rd minute.
We are backing Preston to win and Will Keane to Score because of the Lillywhites recent history in this fixture. If Preston do record a victory, Will Keane is a likely goalscorer as he looks to score his third league goal of the campaign.