Preston North End take on Gary Rowett’s Millwall at Deepdale on Wednesday evening, but with Adam Barrett likely to be in charge in the opposition dug out, with the Lions boss currently isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
Despite this set back, they have started the season in a very positive way and have only lost one game so far this season, occupying a Play-Off place at present, with a strengthened squad looking like they have a number of good options available to them.
For the Lilywhites, they will be looking to bring back-to-back away wins to Deepdale, looking to pick up their first home win of the season. Three wins from the last four games have moved them into the top half of the table and the squad will look to build upon that, but will know it will be a very tough test.
The manager has options available to him, after naming an unchanged side for the last two games, with the likes of Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire and also the returning Darnell Fisher all pushing for selection.
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (8/46)
Date: Wednesday 28th October, kick-off 7pm
Kit: 2020/21 home kit – click here to buy it now!
Head To Head: PNE wins – 25; Draws – 11; Millwall - 30
Darnell Fisher is back in training after a month out with a hamstring injury and both Ben Pearson and Ben Davies will be given every opportunity to prove their fitness before the clash with the Lions.
Both have missed the last two games, but with an extra day’s recovery, due to another Wednesday game, could give them time to get back for the latest game. Louis Moult continues to work on his rehab.
Billy Mitchell and Troy Parrott (ankle ligaments) will sit out the meeting, but Gary Rowett – managing from home due to his positive Covid-19 test - has an otherwise fully-fit squad to select from.
He made changes for the weekend’s home draw with Barnsley, bringing in three players from the side that had win it’s previous two games and he could revert back to a side similar side.
Gary Rowett on millwallfc.co.uk: “It will be a difficult game. Any game away from home against the likes of Preston will be difficult. People will look at their home form and the fact that they haven't scored at home yet, but Preston are a good side.
“They have been up and around it for three or four years now. They are probably a bit more advanced into what they are doing then perhaps we are, even though we finished higher than them last season.
“It is going to be another challenge. Alex flipped to a 5-3-2 at the weekend to a good success, because Huddersfield did, but they are similar to us, they have a bit of tactical flexibility. They could play a four, they could play a five, they have some key injuries to players also.
“We have to go there with the right mentality, the right attitude, but we have lost one game in seven - two games in ten if you count the cup games - and I think it is a very positive start to the season.
“It’s the Championship - if you go there with a poor mentality you lose; if you go there with the right mentality and play with more composure than we did in the first half on Saturday, then we give ourselves a chance of getting a result.”
Darren Bond will take charge of a Lilywhites game for the first time this season for Wednesday’s game.
Last season he refereed our July trip to Huddersfield Town and the Boxing Day draw with Leeds United. Prior to the clash with the Peacocks, he had not taken charge of a North End game since February 2019, when the game with Derby County ended goalless at Deepdale.
This will also be the Lancashire referee’s first Lions clash of the season, having officiated their 1-1 draw with Luton in October of last year.
Darren has taken charge of this game before, in September 2017 and that season he also officiated our 2-1 win at Bristol City and the 2-0 victory over Sunderland up at the Stadium of Light in March.
This will be his sixth game of this season, having issued 17 yellow cards and one red so far. The referee will be assisted by Wade Smith and Mark Jones, with Tom Bramall as the fourth official.
North End fans can watch Wednesday’s game live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £10 match pass available now.
Jonathan Breeze and former North End captain Paul McKenna are on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from Deepdale from 6.45pm on Wednesday evening.
Alex Neil Previews Millwall Fixture: Manager Alex Neil knows his side face a tough test up against Millwall on Wednesday evening, but he’s taken confidence from PNE’s form heading into it. Click here for the full interview.
A Match To Remember: We only go back two years for this latest look back to memorable matches, as the Lilywhites came out on top in a five-goal thriller on a damp December afternoon at Deepdale. Click here for the details.
Joe Rafferty Preparing For Millwall Battle: Preston North End defender Joe Rafferty says that he and his teammates will need to be ready for a battle on Wednesday evening when Millwall come to Deepdale. Click here for Raff’s thoughts.
A Foot In Both Camps - Millwall: Former Preston North End fans’ favourite Sean St Ledger spoke to iFollow PNE this week to preview Wednesday’s home tie against Millwall. Click here to see what he had to say.
Order Your Match Programme: The fourth edition of this season’s The One And Only matchday programme is available now for order. Click here for more details.