Stevenage boss Graham Westley feels a win at his old club Preston would be a "minor miracle" - but is not ruling it out.
Injury-hit Boro face a North End side who have been able to sign the likes of Kevin Davies and Chris Humphrey over the summer.
And Westley admitted: "I think three points would be a minor miracle.
"We are not going with a negative mindset by any stretch but it will be a really tough journey.
"They have invested massively in their squad this season, some real big-name players have come in and when you do that to a squad that was already in relatively good shape then they are in a really strong position.
"Meanwhile we are training with 14 players and with lads stepping up from the conference and League Two, so it's tough at the moment.
"The lads will do very well to win there at the weekend. But we always believe miracles can happen."