The Lilywhites have been coming up against the Rams since the inaugural Football League season in 1888/89 and they are therefore a fitting opponent for the club’s 5,000th game.
In the 107 league games played between the sides so far, the visitors have the edge with 44 wins to 43 and have done well at Deepdale, unbeaten in their last six trips.
However, the last time we were competing in the Play-Off positions in the Championship, back in 2008/09, Alan Irvine’s side came out on top against their visitors from Derbyshire, with Sean St. Ledger and Jon Parkin the scorers, as they were on the last day of the season to get us into the top six at Cardiff City’s expense.
It was Boxing Day 2008 and North End started brightly; Richard Chaplow shot wide and Billy Jones missed with a header before St. Ledger slotted home from 12 yards.
Andy Lonergan saved Paul Green's 20-yard shot and an effort from Kris Commons while Rob Hulse headed wide from six yards as Derby threatened.
However, Ross Wallace struck the post for PNE with a free-kick and then later crossed for Parkin to smash the decisive second goal from 18 yards.
After the game, then manager Alan Irvine said: “We are getting close to the target of 53 points which I set at the start of the season.
“2007 was a really bad year. 2008 has been a good year. We have to make sure that 2009 is as good, if not better. This was tough. We started slowly and I was disappointed with how we played early on and I was more than happy to go in 1-0 up at half-time.”
In another Championship Play-Off season, back in 2004/05, we had another big win over the Rams, as Graham Alexander scored twice as North End took all the points.
The full back scored a spectacular opener after 13 minutes, volleying home Eddie Lewis' cross past Lee Camp.
Camp then saved from Lewis and Brian O'Neil, but shortly after half-time Alexander scored a penalty after Grzegorz Rasiak fouled Chris Sedgwick.
Patrick Agyemang wasted several opportunities to further extend the lead, but provided the cross from which Richard Cresswell scored the Lilywhites’ third goal late on.
After the game Billy Davies said: “Patrick Agyemang brings us something we have not had since Ricardo Fuller. We can now get behind teams, he can cause a lot of problems.
“From the start we worked extremely hard and moved the ball very well. Graham Alexander is a very good striker of the ball with both feet - the first goal was one for the video.”
The very first game between the sides, in that first EFL season came on 8th December 1888, as the home side romped to a 5-0 home win; we then did one better two years later in the last month of 1890, winning 6-0. We again scored five without reply in 1898, but it was in 1947 that the goals really flowed, as a Sir Tom Finney inspired PNE beat the Rams 7-4 at Deepdale
The biggest modern day win came in 2003 when Alexander again, Dickson Etuhu, George Koumantarakis and Cresswell scored in a 4-2 success, having been 4-0 up after 51 minutes, only for Fabrizio Ravanelli to pull back two late goals.