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?
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.
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