Preston North End welcome League Two’s Mansfield Town to Deepdale in the first big clash of this season’s Carabao Cup as The Stags look to cause a cupset against their Championship opposition.
This tie sees Preston manager, Alex Neil come up against the last English club of who he played for in 2004-05 season only to be made surplus to requirement at end of season.
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Declan Rudd is ruled out for Preston with an unspecified injury which has kept him out of the Lilywhites’ two friendlies.
Darnell Fisher is also absent with an unspecified injury whilst Louis Moult (fitness) also misses out.
Mansfield could hand Ollie Clarke a late fitness test as the midfielder battles a calf strain.
Joe Riley meanwhile is sidelined with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury.
- Preston have won the only previous League Cup meeting between these teams 4-0 in September 2004 away at Field Mill.
- Mansfield have won just two of their last seven trips to Deepdale in all competitions, including defeats in each of their last four visits (W2, L5)
- Both teams have scored in four of their last six meetings across all competitions.
- Preston have exited in Round One of League Cup in just one of last 12 seasons, which came in August 2017 away to Accrington Stanley in a 3-2 loss in injury time.
- Mansfield have advanced from this stage in just one of their last six seasons, doing so in August 2019 in a 6-1 home win over Accrington Stanley.
With Mansfield having not played competitively since March, this is definitely a tough return to proper action against a Preston team who just seemed to mentally collapse upon Project Restart in June with two wins from their last nine competitive matches.
If Mansfield therefore can get on front foot and score first then a cupset is perfectly achievable but I have a feeling that Preston will turn up and deliver a routine win, especially because they could do with a win here for momentum sake heading into the new season in two weeks time.
Prediction: Preston North End 2-0 Mansfield Town
Result: Preston North End 4-0 Mansfield Town