Scout report: What Middlesbrough can expect from Preston North End at the Riverside

Preston boss Alex Neil took charge of the club in 2017.Preston boss Alex Neil took charge of the club in 2017.
Preston boss Alex Neil took charge of the club in 2017.
Middlesbrough are back in action tomorrow night when they’ll host Preston North End at the Riverside – but what can they expect?

We take a closer look at how the Lillywhites are shaping up ahead of their trip to Teesside.

How will Preston line-up?

Preston have enjoyed an excellent start to the season, operating in a 4-2-3-1 system which has seen them score a joint-league high of 17 goals this season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Paul Gallagher and hard-tackling midfielder Ben Pearson are often deployed in midfield which allows Preston's attacking players to flourish in the final third.

Preston’s three attacking midfielders all interchange positions and will pose a threat.

Who are their key players?

Preston's danger men are in the final third and they possess the Championship's third top goal scorer this season in Daniel Johnson.

The 26-year-old midfielder can arrive late into the box like a traditional number 10, while he also possesses a striker’s instinct.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On the right Sean Maguire has been in scintillating form and already has three goals and three assists to his name this season.

The Republic of Ireland forward could cause Boro a headache problems with his pace and willingness to attack the full-back.

What form are they in?

Preston are unbeaten in their last six league matches, scoring 12 goals in that time.

Their last defeat came away at fellow high-flyers Swansea after a narrow 3-2 defeat. Preston have only failed to score in one away game this season