City are, in theory, behind their rivals with regards to preparations for the new season having yet to take to the pitch since the summer break.
Nevertheless, a lack of game time did not hinder Pep Guardiola’s side during the last campaign, and the Spaniard is unlikely to be too concerned at this stage.
The biggest blow came when a coronavirus outbreak among the club’s academy players forced Guardiola to rethink his plans for the short trip to Deepdale.
Guardiola wanted to assess some of his prospects at the Etihad Stadium, but he will now use the behind-closed-doors fixture to get his senior players up to speed ahead of the Community Shield on August 8.
At a time when newspaper reports about finances and regulations threaten to distract City, Preston are fully focused on putting the final touches to their pre-season.
Head coach Frankie McAvoy will have cut a frustrated figure in recent days after new arrival Izzy Brown sustained an Achilles injury which will keep him sidelined for several months.
Failure to defeat either Bolton Wanderers or Accrington Stanley is also less than ideal at a time when the new boss is attempting to turn Preston into playoff contenders.
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That said, games against City and Manchester United should force North End to up their performance levels, like they did against Celtic earlier in the summer.
Preston’s only goal from open play during their last three fixtures was scored by Jamie Thomas, a trialist who is currently with non-league outfit Bamber Bridge.