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The Dirty Dozen: A litany of Irish players could feature as Preston take on Burnley tonight

There could be as many as 12 Irish players on show, with Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor in line to make their PNE debuts.

Image: Bryan Keane; ©INPHO/Bryan Keane/INPHO

SEAN MAGUIRE AND Kevin O’Connor are in line to make their Preston North End debuts against Burnley tonight as Irish players look set to dominate proceedings at Deepdale.

The Clarets can boast the likes of Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Stephen Ward, Kevin Long and new signing Jonathan Walters.

But, even before signing the former Cork City duo, Preston had a considerable Irish community at the club with Greg Cunningham, Alan Browne, Eoin Doyle, Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan all part of the squad.

Cunningham broke his leg back in April but has already featured in pre-season while Doyle spent the latter part of last season on loan at Portsmouth but will be hoping to catch the eye of new PNE boss Alex Neil.

Preston kick-off their new Championship season in 12 days’ time with a game against Sheffield Wednesday so Maguire and O’Connor will be keen to grab any chance they get.

After their recent 1-1 draw with Newcastle, Neill suggested he’d utilise more of his squad for the Burnley clash so the pair may be thrown in at the deep-end at Deepdale.

For Sean Dyche’s side, their finalising preparations for the start of the Premier League season.

Their opening fixture is away to reigning champions Chelsea on August 12.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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