Derby County manager Frank Lampard is expecting a ‘physical’ challenge when his side face PNE at Deepdale in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night.
The Rams come into the game in PR1 on the back of an FA Cup win over Accrington Stanley and in good form in the league, maintaining their position in the top six.
Having come out on top when the two sides met at Pride Park back in late August, the former Chelsea and England midfielder says that was a ‘difficult afternoon’ and is expecting Alex Neil’s side to carry a threat.
“I’ve been impressed by Preston,” he told the press conference to look forward to the clash. “They’ve been on good form and made it difficult for us when we played them earlier in the season.
“They are a physical, well organised team but also have the quality to score goals.
“They have a lot of threats on all fronts.”
The TV cameras add an extra level of interest to the game, as will the Rams’ most recent recruit, Ashley Cole linking up with his former Chelsea team-mate last week.
And Lampard has said that the former England left back could get his first run out in a County shirt at Deepdale.
“He’s getting closer. I am not sure if he will be fully involved - that extra 15 to 20 per cent match fitness is what we’re looking for.
“The last thing we want to do is throw him in too early. But if needs be, he might play some part,” he added.