It’s the first local derby of the season as Blackburn Rovers make the short trip across the M65 season on Tuesday night.
Rovers sit just below the Lilywhites in the table, but it is a very tight division currently and Tony Mowbray’s side will be looking to leapfrog North End by picking up a victory.
For Alex Neil and his team, they have not won four of their last seven games and will look to increase that to five in eight against their east Lancashire opponents.
The is live on iFollow PNE, with our coverage beginning approximately 7.15pm, with former PNE skipper Paul McKenna alongside Jonathan Breeze in the commentary box on the gantry at Deepdale.
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (13/46)
Date: Tuesday 24th November, kick-off 7.45pm
Kit: 2020/21 home kit – click here to buy it now!
Head To Head: PNE wins – 44; Draws – 30; Blackburn Rovers - 31
Manager Alex Neil welcomed back Ben Pearson into the squad for Saturday’s win over Sheffield Wednesday, but he was still without Ben Davies, Alan Browne and Andrew Hughes as well as long term casualty Louis Moult.
For the visitors, Belgian goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski retained his place in the Rovers starting XI for Saturday's draw at Luton after his quarantine period ended just in time following a positive Covid-19 test on recent international duty. Backup keeper Aynsley Pears also made the weekend squad after recovering from illness at the last minute.
Germany international Lewis Holtby didn't fare as well, with illness denying him a weekend appearance, but the visitors have recently added extra cover for his midfield role after re-signing former England man Stewart Downing for a second season in East Lancashire. He was part of the matchday squad for the first time this season on Saturday and will be pushing to be involved in the derby.
Rovers will be waiting on the fitness of rising star Joe Rankin-Costello, who has impressed at full back this season, but was forced off through injury last time out. His replacement as substitute that afternoon, Ryan Nyambe, is also still striving for full fitness after returning from an international appearance for Namibia with a slight injury.
Corry Evans is a slight doubt after returning from a trio of Northern Ireland matches with similar fitness issues, while defenders Derrick Williams and Daniel Ayala have also been sidelined for several weeks.
The game comes a little too soon for Bradley Dack, who has spent 11 months on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury. He is expected to step up his return to fitness with an U23 appearance against Everton on Friday night after completing 45 minutes in a friendly against Sheffield United last Tuesday.
For the second time this month, north east official Tony Harrington will take charge of the Lilywhites, having been here for the Birmingham City game three weeks ago,
He took charge of just one game last season, the home game with our last opponents Gary Rowett’s Millwall at Deepdale, but in 2018/19 he took charge of three PNE games, the March trip to Reading, the 2-0 cup win at Leeds United back in August 2018 and the home game against West Bromwich Albion that autumn.
Tony has been a familiar face over recent seasons. In 2017/18 he visited Deepdale twice,
the Lilywhites’ opening day 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in Alex Neil’s first competitive game in charge of the club, and our Bank Holiday Monday clash with Derby County.
The previous season he also took charge of another two North End games, the 1-1 draw away at Nottingham Forest and the thrilling 4-2 win over Brentford at Deepdale.
The match official, who is now in his tenth year on the EFL list, has also been to PR1 on a number of previous occasions in the past, including the 2014/15 penalty win against Oldham Athletic in the JPT and the club’s last two home league games against Notts County, including a 2-0 win over the Magpies at Deepdale in February 2014.
This will be the Cleveland referee’s tenth game of the season and so far he had issued 23 cautions and no red cards.
He will be joined by assistants Shaun Hudson and Rob Merchant, whilst Australian official Jarred Gillett will be the fourth official.
North End fans can watch Tuesday’s game live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £10 match pass available now.
Jonathan Breeze and former North End skipper Paul McKenna are on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from the Deepdale from 7.15pm on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Neil: “I Like The Blood And Thunder Of Derbies”: Preston North End manager Alex Neil has a good record in derby fixtures and you can understand why, as he relishes the extra intensity that these sort of games bring. Click here for the full interview.
A Match To Remember: Exactly two years ago to the day, the Lilywhites put their visitors from East Lancashire to the sword in front of a packed Deepdale of nearly 20,000. Click here for the details.
Ben Pearson: “It Felt Good To Be Back”: Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson returned to the squad on Saturday, coming off the bench as the Lilywhites defeated Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale. Click here for Pearo’s thoughts.
The One And Only Issue Seven: Saturday’s match-winner Tom Barkhuizen is the cover star of Tuesday’s edition of the matchday programme as he looks to continue his fantastic record in derby games. Click here for more information.
A Foot In Both Camps: Former Preston North End strike Joe Garner started his career down the road at Ewood Park and he joined iFollow PNE to preview the clash between the two sides on Tuesday night. Click here to read more.