The transfer window is finally closed, all focus is on the football and the run to the end of the season begins with North End taking on Paul Warne’s Rotherham United at Deepdale this Saturday.
This is the 60th competitive meeting between the sides, with the Millers holding the upper hand in the head-to-head in the previous 59, having won 21 to the Lilywhites’ 16.
And it was our visitors this weekend who took the points back in November as well, despite an equaliser – his first goal for the club – from Ryan Ledson, our hosts at the New York Stadium came away with a 2-1 win.
And they come into the game full of confidence, a bit like North End did back in the Autumn; then we had just gone to Reading and won 3-0, whilst this time it is Rotherham who had three unanswered goals in midweek, beating Wayne Rooney’s Derby County with a trio of strikes in the final quarter of an hour.
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (28/46)
Date: Saturday 6th February, kick-off 3pm
Kit: 2020/21 home kit – click here to buy it now!
Head To Head: PNE wins – 16; Draws – 22; Rotherham United - 21
Alex Neil will give a late check on Sean Maguire, who missed the last two games, but has no new injury problems and has all of his new recruits available for selection.
Long-term casualties Patrick Bauer (Achilles), Declan Rudd (knee) and Louis Moult (ACL) are the only definitive absentees.
Paul Warne is likely to again be without goalkeeper Jamal Blackman, who is isolating, but Viktor Johansson came in against Derby County and kept a clean sheet.
He will have back on loan winger Florian Jozefzoon, who was unavailable to play against his parent club on Wednesday night, but Chieo Ogbene will be missing after going under the knife last Friday.
The match official for Saturday’s game is experienced referee Gavin Ward, who last took charge of a PNE game in our thrilling 3-2 win at AFC Bournemouth at the beginning of December.
Gavin, from Surrey, is in his 14th season on the EFL lists, and he has officiated the Lilywhites on ten previous occasions including last season’s 5-1 home thrashing of Barnsley and the 2-1 win over Luton Town.
He has also refereed Saturday’s visitors once this season so far, their 2-0 defeat at Watford a week after PNE’s win at the Vitality Stadium. That was one of his 16 games so far this season, having issued 40 cautions and three red cards.
He will be assisted by Nick Greenhalgh and Nik Barnard and Martin Woods will be the fourth official.
North End fans can watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £10 match pass available now.
Jonathan Breeze and former PNE centre half Michael Jackson will be on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from Deepdale from approximately 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Neil: “It Will Be A Tough Decision”: Preston North End manager Alex Neil has told iFollow PNE that Saturday could be his toughest team selection of the season so far. Click here for the full interview.
A Match To Remember: We go back an astonishing 19 years to a game that seems like yesterday, when North End’s current goalkeeping coach was heavily involved for the Millers, in our latest match to remember. Click here for the details of the game we have covered.
Daniel Iversen Looking Forward To Reunion: Preston North End’s January recruit Daniel Iversen played 38 games as Rotherham United were promoted back to the Championship in 2019/20. Click here for Daniel’s thoughts.
The One And Only Issue 14: In the latest issue of The One And Only Paul Huntington reflects on becoming the 26th member of the club’s ‘300 Club’, having recent made the big number of appearances in the win at Birmingham City. Click here for more information.
A Foot In Both Camps: Rotherham United: Current Preston North End goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt played over 300 games for Saturday’s visitors over two spells. Click here to see what he has to say.