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

Middlesbrough are back in action tomorrow night when they’ll host Preston North End at the Riverside – but what can they expect?

Monday, 30th September 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 5:00 pm
Preston boss Alex Neil took charge of the club in 2017.

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.

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.

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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.

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