Preston North End dispatched Cheltenham in a comfortable 4-1 victory on Tuesday in the third round of the League Cup and as a reward will welcome Liverpool to Deepdale Stadium on October 26th in the Round of 16 in England’s second cup competition.
For the Championship side it will be a tough test, and they will head into the match as clear underdogs, but at this stage of the competition that was always likely to be the case and a chance to take on top Premier League opposition is an opportunity they’re relishing.
“Liverpool are one of the best clubs in the world, they are a formidable test no matter what team they put out,” said manager Frankie McAvoy. “It’s great for the club and for the city and I think it’s one that the fans can hopefully relish when it comes around.”
For the Reds it will be a trip, with Preston just about an hour north of Liverpool, making for an easy journey for the team and local fans when the time comes—and while Preston will welcome the gate, at least some would have preferred a reverse fixture.
“Personally I want to play at Anfield but sometimes you want a team lower than you or in the same to give yourselves a chance of progressing,” was defender Joe Rafferty’s take after Tuesday’s victory, a game in which the Liverpool-born player scored for Preston.
When the draw came on Wednesday, then, Rafferty will have gotten at least half of his wish when his side drew the Premier League title contenders, albeit with the game set for Preston rather than an hour to the south on the pitch at Anfield.