Connections between City and their weekend opponents
The 58-year-old took in a three-year spell as assistant manager at Deepdale from 1998, eventually moving on for coaching roles at Newcastle United and Everton.
Returning to take the main job in November 2007, he kept the then struggling Lilywhites in the Championship before leading them to the play-offs in his first full season at the helm.
Among Irvine's signings while in charge was striker Chris Brown, who moved to Lancashire in January 2008 following a year-long stint at Carrow Road.
He also recruited forward Stephen Elliott from Wolves towards the start of the following season; the player going on to spend time on loan at City towards the end of the 2009-10 campaign.
Elliott's two goals for the Canaries both came in an important 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town, playing his part as Paul Lambert's men clinched the League One title.
Other players involved in that squad included Darel Russell and Simon Whaley, with the latter leaving by mutual consent in February 2010 having made three appearances after signing from Preston.
Russell, meanwhile, progressed through Norwich's Academy system in the late 1990s to make over 100 league appearances before joining Stoke City in 2003.
He returned to Norfolk four years later, featuring a further 112 times in the league ahead of switching to Preston in 2010 where he made 32 appearances in all competitions across a three-year spell.
The path of switching City for Preston was one also taken by Jason Jarrett, who moved to North End on loan in March 2006 ahead of penning a permanent deal that summer.
Conversely, Dickson Etuhu had travelled in the opposite direction a year earlier; linking up with the Canaries on a temporary basis before joining full-time ahead of later transferring to Fulham.
Northern Ireland striker David Healy played 10 matches for City on loan from Preston in 2003, while Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd spent the entirety of the 2013-14 season on loan at Deepdale.