MX23RW : Sunday, September 19 21:07:56| >> :600:101537:101537:
Jan 11, 2020 at 3pm UK at Ewood Park
Attendance: 19,963
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
PrestonPreston North End
FT(HT: 1-1)
Harrop (17')

Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's clash between Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End meet at Ewood Park in the Championship on Saturday for what promises to be a fiery Lancashire derby.

With just three points and three places separating the two teams in the table, this fixture looks likely to be a highly competitive affair.

Match preview

Sam Gallagher celebrates scoring for Blackburn on November 30, 2019© Reuters

For the home side, this meeting with a local rival provides an excellent chance to end a winless run lasting five games, with Tony Mowbray's men lacking bite going forward in recent times.

Moreover, there is a strong incentive to right the wrongs of the reverse fixture in October, during which Blackburn surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 following a late Tom Barkhuizen strike.

They should be buoyed by a decent home record this term, losing just twice since August, contrasting heavily with their eight defeats on the road.

One major concern, however, will be a growing injury list, which includes Bradley Dack, the club's top scorer so far this season with nine goals.

The meeting with Preston, a club just 10 miles down the road, provides an excellent opportunity for somebody else to make a name for themselves in a crucial game.

Preston North End's Tom Barkhuizen pictured in October 2019© Reuters

Much like Blackburn, Preston will be hoping to use this game as a chance to arrest a recent downturn in form that has seen Alex Neil's side fail to win any of their last five matches.

This record includes three straight home defeats, two of them in the Championship, which have come as a surprise to a team that, prior to this run, had only lost once at home in the league since August.

At Ewood Park, Preston will know that they must show the same spirit and tactical discipline seen during their last away performance - a 1-1 draw with leaders Leeds United.

On top of that, the Lilywhites would have not forgotten the way in which they arrested Blackburn's momentum to record a thrilling victory over their Lancashire rivals in October, playing with greater precision and intent for most of the game.

Along with the natural allure of a derby, Preston will know that, should other results go their way, victory on Saturday would take them back into the playoff spots as they enter the business end of the season.

Blackburn Rovers Championship form: WDDLLL
Blackburn Rovers form (all competitions): DWDDLL

Preston North End Championship form: WWDDLL
Preston North End form (all competitions): WDDLLL

Team News

Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack celebrates scoring his sides first goal against Brentford on November 27, 2019© Reuters

As mentioned earlier, Blackburn have something of an injury crisis at hand, with Dack, Greg Cunningham and Joe Grayson all out for the season.

Corry Evans also looks set to be out for a while with a knee injury, while Lewis Holtby, Elliott Bennett and Ryan Nyambe are all injured as well.

Preston, on the other hand, are fortunate to have no injuries to report after Neil rested several key players against Norwich City in the FA Cup.

Barkhuizen, the hero of Preston's victory over Blackburn earlier this season, is expected to start along with former Manchester United duo Josh Harrop and Ben Pearson.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Walton; Williams, Lenihan, Adarabioyo, Bell; Travis, Evans, Downing, Armstrong, Rothwell; Gallagher

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Pearson, Gallagher; Harrop, Maguire, Barkhuizen; Nugent

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Preston North End

In a game between two local rivals so close to each other in the table, with both teams going through a patch of lowly form, expect this game to be a cagey, attritional affair, with a draw the most likely outcome.

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Blackburn Rovers' manager Tony Mowbray pictured on August 20, 2019
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