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Dec 4, 2021 at 3pm UK
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
PrestonPreston North End
Brereton Diaz (53')
Lenihan (16'), Paul van Hecke (65'), Travis (69')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Riis Jakobsen (65'), Evans (83')

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

:Headline: Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Blackburn Rovers play host to Preston North End on Saturday afternoon looking to strengthen their position in the Championship playoff places.

While Rovers currently sit in fifth position in the standings, North-West rivals Preston are down in 17th spot despite collecting four points from two games.

Match preview

After conceding seven times against a rampant Fulham on November 3, Tony Mowbray would have cut a frustrated figure in the dressing room, contemplating whether his squad were capable of bouncing back from such an embarrassing evening.

However, that capitulation has proven to be the catalyst for better things to come, Rovers collecting 10 points from a possible 12 and posting back-to-back clean sheets.

On the back of eight goals being scored against Sheffield United, Bristol City and Peterborough United, Blackburn came out on top at playoff rivals Stoke City last weekend, prevailing courtesy of a second-half Reda Khadra strike.

While Rovers only hold a two-point cushion in the top six, the result saw them move ahead of the Potters and establish a five-point gap over eighth position.

Although Ben Brereton Diaz's three-game scoring streak came to an end at the bet365 Stadium, Mowbray would have been delighted with Khadra continuing his recent upward trend after being relatively ineffectual since joining from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Preston head into this contest sitting 12 places adrift of their North-West neighbours, but the gap will be reduced to five points with victory on rival territory.

Such a scenario highlights the competitiveness of the second tier, and Frankie McAvoy will have total confidence that his side can continue their recent resurgence.

A 2-1 comeback at Middlesbrough was followed by a 1-1 draw at home to leaders Fulham, Ched Evans again getting on the scoresheet as he continues to prove his worth in attack.

While clean sheets need to follow with just one being kept in nine outings, McAvoy will argue that maintaining their strength of character will be the difference between a mid-table spot and challenging for promotion.

Blackburn Rovers Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

Second-choice goalkeeper Aynsley Pears is expected to deputise for Blackburn stopper Thomas Kaminski, who suffered an abdominal injury last weekend.

Mowbray will give consideration to selecting the same outfield players, but Daniel Ayala could come back into the defence if he shakes off an ankle injury.

Joe Rothwell is also expected to be fit, despite the midfielder being withdrawn against the Potters.

Evans is likely to be handed a start in the Preston XI, potentially taking the place of Sean Maguire.

Tom Barkhuizen and Andrew Hughes will be assessed after both sustaining injuries last weekend, but Patrick Bauer is back in contention and should start.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Pears; Lenihan, Van Hecke, Wharton; Nyambe, Travis, Rothwell, Pickering; Buckley; Khadra, Brereton Diaz

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Van den Berg, Bauer, Lindsay; Barkhuizen, McCann, Whiteman, Earl; Browne; Evans, Riis

We say: Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Preston North End

Having gotten back on track in recent games, Preston will fancy their chances of causing an upset at the home of their rivals. However, we cannot back against Rovers, who could edge this contest by the odd goal in three.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data

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