Here is a little trick to preload a larger image on the next page, when a user hovers over the link to the next page.

<a class="preload-link" href="/next-page" style="--bg:url('http://placekitten.com/1280/800');">Kitty</a>

<a class="future-preload-link" href="/next-page" data-preload="http://placekitten.com/1280/800">Future Kitty</a>
.preload-link:hover::after{
    background-image: var(--bg);
    content:'';
}

.future-preload-link:hover::after{
    background-image: attr(data-preload url);
}

Maybe, in the future, the second example with using attr() will be possible1

codepen - live use case