Preston headed into the three-month hiatus in possession of the fourth and final playoff spot, despite a 3-1 home loss to Queens Park Rangers in their last match before lockdown.
The Lilywhites have failed to win since returning to action, however, and are now winless in seven matches overall since beating Hull City on February 22.
A return of two points from the last 21 on offer has seen Neil's men slip out of the playoff places, with the gap on sixth-placed Cardiff City now standing at six points.
With only five games to go in the regular season, North End may well have to win each of their remaining fixtures if they are to have any hope of returning to the top six.
That means picking up three points against a Wednesday side who themselves have struggled for victories either side of the coronavirus-enforced break.
Garry Monk's charges have won only two of their last 14 matches in all competitions, the most recent of those victories coming against Bristol City a couple of weeks ago.
Since then, though, they have lost 3-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion and 2-1 at Swansea City, the latter of which left Monk ruing his side's lack of "killer instinct".
The good news for Wednesday is that they have won their last five home league matches against Preston in a run stretching back to the 2011-12 season.
However, they have only won one of their last nine Championship games at Hillsborough and are winless there in their three games since beating Charlton Athletic in February.
Preston will be looking to capitalise on that poor return, although they themselves are winless in their last seven away matches and have scored just three times in that run.
It is the Lilywhites who have more riding on this match in Yorkshire, however, knowing that a victory will just about keep their promotion aspirations intact.
Sheffield Wednesday's Championship form: LLDWLL
Sheffield Wednesday's form (all competitions): LLDWLL
Preston North End's Championship form: LLDLLD
Atdhe Nuhiu scored a consolation goal late on against Swansea after being introduced from the bench and may have done enough to earn a place in the starting lineup.
On the opposite flank, Jacob Murphy has made two assists in his last three Championship games, which is as many as he managed in his previous 48 combined.
As for Preston, they will be without Paul Huntington after he was hit with a retrospective three-match ban for violent conduct in the recent loss to Derby County.
Louis Moult remains sidelined through injury, meanwhile, but Neil otherwise has a full group of players to choose from.
Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Wildsmith; Palmer, Iorfa, Borner; Murphy, Luongo, Bannan, Lee, Harris; Wickham, Nuhiu
Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes; Brown, Pearson, Ledson; Barkhuizen, Maguire, Sinclair
We say: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Preston North End
Sheffield Wednesday are winless in four games at home, while Preston North End have not won any of their last four away matches. It all points to a draw at Hillsborough in this clash between two out-of-form sides.