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Preparation Warms Up With Derby Date

Clarets go to Championship side Preston for latest friendly

23 July 2018

The Clarets step up their pre-season preparation tonight (Monday) with a trip to face Lancashire neighbours Preston North End.

Boss Sean Dyche is expected to take a near full squad to Deepdale, although Steven Defour and Ashley Barnes will not be involved as they continue to work back from injury.

Most of the Clarets’ senior players were given a couple of 90-minute run-outs last week as they build towards the new campaign.

And Dyche and his staff will use this evening’s game against Championship opposition to add further fitness – with an eye on Thursday night’s trip to face Aberdeen in their Europa League qualifier first leg.

The Clarets split their squad last Friday night to maximise game-time, with one side winning 2-0 at Macclesfield Town and the other beating Curzon Ashton 5-2.

Sam Vokes (above) netted twice at Curzon, with Nahki Wells and Jon Walters also getting on the scoresheet after Ben Mee had headed an equaliser.

And Vokes was pleased to get up and running with his first goals of the pre-season campaign with the real tests not too far away.

“The priority at this time of the year is getting minutes under your belt, but all three strikers on the pitch scored and it was nice to get the win,” said Vokes.

“It was nice to get the goals. It’s always a confidence-booster in pre-season to get those goals.

“It’s going well. We had a good week out in Ireland, with a lot of fitness work, and it’s building up towards the big one against Aberdeen and then Southampton.”

Preston, who finished just one spot outside the Championship play-off places last season, drew 2-2 with a strong West Ham side last Saturday in their first home friendly.

Alex Neil’s side twice came from behind, after a Marko Arnautovic double for the Hammers, to level with goals from Tom Clarke and Billy Bodin.

Admission to tonight’s game (kick-off 7.45pm) is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and free for accompanied U11s. Supporters can pay on the night via the ticket office at Deepdale.

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