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Ones To Watch: Preston North End

Three key players for tonight's opponents.

Aiden McGeady

McGeady joined the Lilywhites on loan in August from Everton and has contributed with six goals and eight assists – the latter of which is the most within Preston’s ranks. Since his arrival, the 30-year-old has been one of the first names on Simon Grayson’s teamsheet, with the manager believing the club would be “foolish” not to sign the winger on a permanent contract. The Republic of Ireland international has found real form in Lancashire this term, playing a key role in the club’s push for a top-six finish. McGeady’s equaliser against Nottingham Forest last time out ensured the Lilywhites remain unbeaten at home since Boxing Day, and the former Celtic player will be eager to score for a third successive league game when City visit Deepdale. 

Greg Cunningham

A familiar figure in BS3, Cunningham departed Ashton Gate in 2015 after a successful three-year stint, making 107 appearances. The Galway-born left-back was quick to adjust to his new surroundings, making an immediate impact, which was reflected when he landed the club’s Player of the Year accolade. This season the Republic of Ireland international continues to be the model of consistency and provides key experience within Grayson’s starting XI. Contributing to his side’s rise up the table with seven assists and one goal, the 26-year-old is continuing to flourish. Alongside his attacking flair, Cunningham conducts his defensive duties impeccably, albeit showing a little too much aggression on occasions, having racked up 13 yellow cards this campaign! 

Jordan Hugill

Hugill has been one of the real success stories for the Lilywhites this season. A late developer in the game, the 24-year-old has worked his way up from non-league and broke into the professional game in 2013 with Port Vale. After time on loan at Tranmere Rovers and Hartlepool United, Hugill was handed the striking responsibilities following Jermaine Beckford’s injury and Joe Garner’s departure. The front man sits top of the goalscoring charts at Deepdale with eleven goals, form that saw Preston reject a bid from Ipswich Town in January. Despite not finding the net in his last five outings, the Middlesbrough-born player’s mobility, hard-working attitude and physical presence makes his a real nuisance and one City must be mindful of.