Preview | Preston North End v Swansea City

1st November 2022
First team

Swansea City will go in search of just a fourth win at Deepdale in 41 years when they face Preston North End at Deepdale tonight (7.45pm).

The visitors will be looking to continue a very good run of form that has seen them take 16 points from the seven games since the September international break.

There are now just four games remaining of a hectic sequence of 11 fixtures in just 42 days, but three of the remaining four matches take the Swans on their travels, starting this evening.

They take on a Lilywhites side who boast the meanest defensive record in the Championship having racked up 10 clean sheets and conceded just 15 goals from 17 matches so far.

Deepdale has not proved a happy hunting ground for the Swans since John Toshack’s side secured the victory that sealed a first-ever promotion to the top-flight in 1981, but they will travel determined to keep up the form that has seen them climb into the play-off spots.

Team news

Watford away Joel Piroe

Joel Piroe returns from suspension for the Swans after missing three games on the back of his red card against Burnley.

Jamie Paterson and Ryan Manning returned to action against Bristol City, meaning only Joe Allen and Liam Walsh are sidelined for Swansea.

Pre-match views

Russell Martin Matt Gill

Matt Gill: “It is a really important period and we want to go into the break in as strong a position as possible.

“We have to continue the performance levels, and if we do that we will get the outcome we deserve if the performances are right.

“We felt on Saturday (against Bristol City) we fell below where we have been in that early part of the game, and we need to get back to those levels and we need to continue to be prepared to be ourselves home and away.

“This period is a tough one, but we need to keep approaching every game the same this season.

“I can’t recall any period quite like this as a player. I don’t think I could have coped with this during my time playing!

“The intensity the lads have shown has been tremendous and when that dips a little bit from what we want, we know how important it is to maybe use the squad and freshen things up.

“It’s four games in less than two weeks and we need the right intensity and if a change of personnel is needed then the gaffer will do that.

“The lads have really embraced this period, as have the staff, and we just need to make sure we can enjoy the World Cup break having finished off well over these final four games.”

Ryan Lowe: “I’m not gullible enough to think we’re just going to keep playing the same formation and the same shape all season.

“You’ve got to sort of find a way and be adaptable, and I am.

“That is my favourite formation, the 3-5-2 or 3-4-2-1, but I’ve played 4-4-2 before, 4-3-2-1, and we played a 4-3-3 against Middlesbrough to get more bodies up the pitch, and it certainly worked because I thought we were outstanding.

“We just wanted more bodies at the top end of the pitch, hence why we chose to do that.

“We knew they’d play a similar formation, and we’ve got to be open to these ideas to find solutions of winning games of football.”

Remember the last time?

Preston away Joel Piroe goal

Joel Piroe grabbed his fourth goal in five games but Swansea City fell to defeat against Preston on their last visit to Deepdale in August 2021.

The in-form summer signing had fired Russell Martin’s side ahead in Lancashire, firing home right-footed to end a slick move.

But that lead was quickly cancelled out by Sepp van den Berg, and when Emil Riis and Ben Whiteman netted just before and after the interval respectively, the game was beyond the visitors.

The Swans also lost Joel Latibeaudiere to injury early on to compound a difficult afternoon.

Prime numbers

Olivier Ntcham Bristol City goal

4 – Olivier Ntcham’s goal at Bristol City means he joins Joel Piroe as Swansea’s joint-top goalscorer so far this season with four.

10 – No side has had more clean sheets in the Championship this year than Preston’s tally of 10. Four of those have come on home soil.

Next match:
Tuesday 1st November // 19:45
Preston North End