Leeds United inside track: The lowdown on Preston North End

Ben Pearson has been a key player for Preston this season despite his sending off at Elland Road in August.
Ben Pearson has been a key player for Preston this season despite his sending off at Elland Road in August.
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Leeds United travel to Preston North End on Tuesday evening in the Championship - but what can we expect from the visitors?

We asked Lancashire Post reporter Adam Lord for the lowdown on North End and what United fans should be on the lookout for...

Who are the key men for Preston?

In terms of an attacking threat Sean Maguire is certainly the one to watch. Irish striker returned after a serious hamstring injury which kept him out for four months with five goals in four games, seeing him nominated for March's player of the month award. Has faded since then after a long season which started way back in February 2017 when he was banging goals in for fun at Cork. Gives PNE a real outlet when on top form.

What is Preston's recent form like?

North End have lost their last three meaning their play-off hopes hang by a thread ahead of Tuesday night. They haven't played too badly at all, controlling large parts of the 1-0 defeats to Derby and Reading only to come up short in the final third. That lack of a cutting edge is likely to be what makes the difference in bid to reach the top six.

One player to watch...

Ben Pearson is arguably the best player at the club. The holding midfielder, a former Manchester United youngster, catches most people's attentions because of his liking for a booking. Has 14 this campaign but is a better footballer than he's given credit for. Breaks up play at key moments and drives North End forwards. His red card at Elland Road earlier in the season was the first of his career.

What is the feeling among the fan base at the moment?

Frustration and disappointment. A season that has promised so much is in danger of falling a little flat, something Alex Neil will doing his upmost to ensure does not happen. After two 11th-placed finishes the challenge now is to get as close to the top six as possible and reflect the progress that has been made.

What is Alex Neil's management style?

Intense. Usually sets PNE up in a 4-2-3-1 system and likes his team to be on the front foot in defence and attack. Will cover more ground that most teams in the division with an impressive work rate. Press high at times and number of bookings shows that they play on the edge. Have become more confident controlling possession but are just coming up short in the final third.

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