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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

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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.

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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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