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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

12 February 2021 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Rovers v Preston North End

A look ahead to tonight's encounter at Ewood Park between the SChampionship's two Lancashire clubs

12 February 2021

Rovers and Preston North End lock horns this evening in the latest Lancashire derby at Ewood Park.

Rovers will be looking to make it back-to-back wins over Alex Neil's side having already defeated PNE at Deepdale back in November.

Goals from Adam Armstrong, Ben Brereton and Tyrhys Dolan secured a 3-0 triumph in Preston that night.

And if Tony Mowbray's men to earn a second win in one season against tonight's visitors, it will be a first double over the Lilywhites since that promotion-winning campaign in 2000-01.

If they are to do it then it will be without Lewis Holtby, who excelled in the last meeting between the teams.

The German midfielder was forced off at Queens Park Rangers last weekend with a knee injury, although Mowbray has revealed that the midfielder won't be out long-term with the setback.

Joe Rankin-Costello has been back in training this week, but the clash comes too soon for the versatile midfield man.

Bradley Johnson is also edging closer to a return, but won't be available to feature against a North End side who are managed by his old boss.

Scott Wharton and Derrick Williams remaing long-term absentees, but Daniel Ayala is closing in on a return to the first team squad.

Ex-Preston man Dolan could be pusing for a starting berth against his old employers, whilst Brereton could also put his hat in the ring for a place in the team after producing arguably his best performance of the season against tonight's opponents at Deepdale.


For Preston, Neil will be without the likes of Declan Rudd and Patrick Bauer, who both featured against Rovers last time out.

The pair are expected to be out of action for the rest of the season, with Rudd out due to a knee injury and Bauer missing with an Achilles problem.

Having suffered a defeat to Rotherham United last time out, there could be changes for PNE, but goalkeeper Daniel Iversen is a certainty to keep his place in Rudd's absence.

A pair of ex-Rovers in the form of Paul Gallagher and Greg Cunningham could be waiting in the wings to come in having been unused substitutes against the Millers.

And although Neil has been complimentary of Rovers ahead of the test, he admits that he'll be reinforcing the importance of tonight's derby game to his team.

"I have had a good record at every club I have been at in terms of derbies," the Scot told the official Preston North End website.

"I have been down the same route in saying ‘this isn’t a normal game, this is a game we need to be up for as it does carry more weight for the supporters’.

“Tony brought a lot of the Rovers players in when they were younger, he has had them now for a couple of seasons and you can see that.

“The maturity they are starting to show, the amount of goals that they have scored, from the likes of [Adam] Armstrong – where there has been a huge improvement – and the likes of [Sam] Gallagher and Brereton as well and naturally Harvey Elliott is a real threat.

“They are good players, they are well coached and they are a good team, so it will be a tough game."

Kick-off is at 7.45pm this evening, and fans can catch all the action by purchasing an iFollow Rovers audio pass or by following the coverage across our social media channels.

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 1-2 Preston North End

Rovers suffer defeat to the Lilywhites at Ewood Park despite Adam Armstrong's penalty

12 February 2021

A spot kick from Adam Armstrong wasn't enough as Preston North End earned the East Lancashire bragging rights with a narrow victory at a freezing Ewood Park.

Armstrong struck from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time, but the damage was done before the goal.

Ex-Rover Greg Cunningham came back to haunt his old club when he thundered a left-footed drive beyond Thomas Kaminski, before sloppy defending allowed Liam Lindsay to tap home from close range just a minute before Armstrong halved the deficit.

There was plenty of huff and puff from Rovers in the second half, with Dack heading over Daniel Iversen's goal the closest the hosts came to grabbing an equaliser.

Preston had their chances to make the game same though, most notably through Tom Barkhuizen and substitute Emil Riis.

But it wasn't to be Rovers' night in Baltic conditions, and Tony Mowbray's men will be desperate to put things right when they head to Barnsley on Wednesday evening.

The boss made two changes to the team that began against Queens Park Rangers last time out, with Barry Douglas and Bradley Dack returning in place of the benched Amari'i Bell and Harvey Elliott.

Despite having the majority of the play, it was the visitors who took the lead on 19 minutes through Rovers old boy Cunningham.

A switch of play from Alan Browne released the left wing back, who took a touch before unleashing a thumping strike that flew low to Kaminski's left and into the bottom corner.

North End's stubbornness ensured Rovers had to wait until the 35 minute mark to find a response, but Adam Armstrong dragged wide of Iversen's left-hand post after being played through by Dack.

But worse arrived just before half-time when the slightest touch from Lindsay doubled PNE's advantage from close range after Ryan Ledson's inswinging corner caused problems.

However, the response was instant from the hosts, with Armstrong slamming home from the spot just seconds later.

A rampaging run from Ryan Nyambe saw the Namibian fly forward, he set Sam Gallagher free in the box, and after he was tripped by Andrew Hughes, the referee eventually awarded Rovers a penalty.

Armstrong was the man from 12-yards and converted despite Iversen going the right way.

The on-loan goalkeeper produced a stunning save just a moment later when the Dane clawed away the frontman's flick towards goal after he latched onto Douglas' teasing delivery from the left.

The goal did provide Rovers with a lifeline going into the break, but the boss wouldn't have been happy with his side's display and made that clear with a double change for the beginning of the second half.

Tyrhys Dolan came on against his old side by replacing Joe Rothwell, whilst Jacob Davenport's first league start at Ewood Park came to an end by being replaced by Stewart Downing.

Rovers improved early on, but Barkhuizen dragged wide just before the hour mark as the visitors continued to showcase their danger on the counter-attack.

Rovers continued to probe as the game crept into the final 25 minutes with Dack and Armstrong both heading over in quick succession.

At the other end, Riis had a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed just seconds after entering the action in place of Barkhuizen, but Kaminski was in his way to deny Preston a third of the night.

Dack did have the ball in the net soon after when he poked home, but the flag was up to adjudge the talisman to be offside after he got on the end of Armstrong's flick on.

That was to be the final opportunity of the game as Rovers were left with derby day disappointment on home turf

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe (Elliott, 62), Lenihan (c), Branthwaite, Douglas, Travis (Brereton, 87), Davenport (Downing, 46), Gallagher (Harwood-Bellis, 75), Dack, Rothwell (Dolan, 46), Armstrong.

Unused substitutes: Pears, Bell, Buckley, Evans.

Goal: Armstrong pen, 45.

Preston North End: Iversen, Lindsay, Browne (c), Johnson (Potts, 75), Storey, Hughes, Whiteman, Ledson, Evans (Molumby, 90), Barkhuizen (Riis, 75), Cunningham.

Unused substitutes: Ripley, Rafferty, van Den Berg, Huntington, Gallagher, Sinclair.

Goals: Cunningham, 19, Lindsay, 43

Booked: Ledson, 61, Lindsay, 84.

Referee: David Webb.

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