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Preview: Preston North End vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Preston North End and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Derby County will continue their against-the-odds survival battle when they travel to out-of-form Preston North End on Saturday.

The Rams are bottom of the Championship table and seven points adrift of safety, while the Lilywhites are 18th and only three points above the relegation zone.

Match preview

Derby County's Craig Forsyth celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 29, 2021© Reuters

Despite their difficulties behind the scenes, Derby have performed admirably in recent weeks since going into administration and being docked 12 points.

Wayne Rooney's side have lost just one of their last five games and have beaten in-form sides Stoke City and Reading in that run.

The Rams are joint-lowest scorers in the Championship with just seven goals to their name this season, but also have the joint-best defence in the division having only conceded eight goals.

Therefore, it was unsurprising that they headed into the international break with a 0-0 draw against Swansea City – their third goalless stalemate of the campaign.

However, Derby will need to start picking up points on the road if they are to pull off an unlikely survival bid, as they have won just one of their last 14 Championship away games.

Frankie McAvoy in charge of Preston North End in April 2021© Reuters

The Rams travel to a Preston side who have not lost at Deepdale since the opening day of the season, while their only two league victories this season have come on home turf.

However, Frankie McAvoy's side are currently on a six-match winless run; they had drawn five games in a row before a 3-2 defeat to Queens Park Rangers before the international break.

The Lilywhites led 2-1 at the Kian Prince Foundation Stadium, but conceded twice in the final 19 minutes to suffer defeat and slip down the table.

It is the start of a big week for Preston, who host high-flying Coventry City on Wednesday evening before facing a West Lancashire derby against Blackpool next weekend.

The Lilywhites have won their last three games against Derby, including an emphatic 3-0 victory at Deepdale in their most recent meeting in April.

Preston North End Championship form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

Preston North End form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L

Derby County Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Derby County's manager Wayne Rooney before the match on March 6, 2021© Reuters

Preston midfielder Ali McCann suffered an ankle injury against QPR a fortnight ago so is unavailable, with Alan Browne set to replace him.

Ched Evans remains absent with a foot injury, while Matthew Olosunde is back in training but not yet ready to feature.

Sean Maguire will be assessed ahead of the game, but Scott Sinclair is now back up to speed and could replace him if need be.

Nathan Byrne is suspended for Derby after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season, which could either mean teenager Festy Ebosele comes in at right-back or a switch to a three-man defence.

Sam Baldock and Phil Jagielka have both shaken off injuries over the international break and could come into the side.

Colin Kazim-Richards is edging closer to a return having been out since the middle of August, but will not feature until next weekend at the earliest.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Storey, Bauer, Cunningham; van den Berg, Browne, Ledson, Earl; Johnson; Jakobsen, Maguire

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Ebosele, Jagielka, Davies, Forsyth; Bird, Shinnie; Knight, Morrison, Lawrence; Baldock

SM words green background

We say: Preston North End 1-1 Derby County

Both teams are far from in perfect shape, so it would be a very important victory for either side if they manage to get it. However, with Preston being one of the league's draw specialists and Derby struggling away from home, we think this game will end level.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Frankie McAvoy in charge of Preston North End in April 2021
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