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Preston North End

Jermaine Beckford reflects on Leeds career, makes Premier League prediction

Elland Road pitchside

Jermaine Beckford's Preston travel to face Leeds this weekend.

Preston North End striker Jermaine Beckford has told BBC Radio Lancashire that he thinks Leeds will be back in the Premier League sooner or later.

Beckford, 32, will be watching on this weekend as his Preston team travel to Elland Road, with the striker ruled out of the game through injury, robbing him of a return to his former club.

Beckford was snapped up by Leeds back in 2006 from non-league Wealdstone, and he went on to become an Elland Road hero very quickly.

In 152 appearances for Leeds, Beckford smashed 84 goals, including the strike which won the Whites promotion from League One to the Championship back in 2010, before leaving on a free transfer to join Premier League outfit Everton.

Spell with Leicester City, Huddersfield Town and Bolton Wanderers followed, before he reunited with his ex-Leeds boss Simon Grayson at Preston last season - and he proved he can still score goals by hitting 18 in 31 games, including a hat-trick in Preston's 4-0 play-off final win over Swindon Town in May.

Grayson will be returning to Elland Road alongside two ex-Leeds players in Paul Huntington and Neil Kilkenny, but Beckford will miss out, as he has for the whole season so far, with a knee injury.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire ahead of the game, Beckford has admitted that he still loves Leeds United - and predicted that they will return to the Premier League sooner or later, after over ten years away from the top flight of English football.

“It's an amazing place, with amazing fans,” said Beckford. “It's somewhere that I enjoyed a large portion of my career, somewhere I hold closely to my heart as well. I'm a fan and it's always nice to go back there, it's something that every kid enjoys and dreams about playing there. It's one of those stadiums that's been around for a long time, and the history of the club and everything about it is just massive.”

“It's a massive club, with massive ambitions, and sooner or later they'll be back up in the top league. But while they're in this league, everybody here is looking forward to playing against them, obviously they're one of the biggest scalps in the league so everybody that plays against them goes into the game treating it as if it's a cup final,” he added.

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