Preston North End vs Derby County preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport

Derby County's relegation fears have intensified in recent weeks. 

Wayne Rooney's side have four games left to play in the Championship and are only four points above the bottom three, with 22nd-placed Rotherham United holding two games in hand.

Rooney appeared to be steering Derby away from the relegation zone after being confirmed as the club's permanent manager, with the Rams going on a run of five wins in six matches in January and February.

However, since then their form has suffered a severe downturn, and they have now won just one of their last 11 matches; it is quite the contrast to the club's prospective new owner Erik Alonso claiming his "eventual goal" is to take Derby to the Champions League.

They took the lead through Tom Lawrence away at Blackburn Rovers on Friday night but ended up losing 2-1 – their third successive defeat – as Rooney blamed "unacceptable" refereeing.

However, the strugglers will have been pleased to see Rotherham concede late on against Birmingham City on Sunday and lose 1-0.

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  • Team news

The hosts have four players sidelined through injury. Declan Rudd (knee) and Patrick Bauer (Achilles tendon) are both unavailable for selection.

Furthermore, midfielder Daniel Johnson and Joe Rafferty may  both miss the visit of Derby.

Preston will welcome back Liam Lindsay into the back three after the Scot was ineligible to face parent club Stoke City on Saturday, which should see Sepp van den Berg move out to right wing-back.

Sean Maguire made his return from time on the sidelines as a substitute against the Potters but could start on Tuesday alongside Ched Evans upfront.

Evans, who signed a new two-year contract at Deepdale last week, has not scored in eight appearances – his longest drought since joining Preston in January.

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The visitors have been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks and currently have several players on the treatment table.

George Edmundsson (hernia), Lee Gregory (hamstring), Jordan Ibe (hamstring), Krystian Bielik (ACL), Curtis Davies (Achilles tendon), and Jack Stretton are all unavailable.

Manchester United loanee Teden Mengi missed Derby's defeat to Blackburn with a hamstring injury and will be absent again on Tuesday night.

Of Derby's current injured crop, Rooney claimed that the only one in with a chance of playing on Tuesday was Martyn Waghorn, who has missed the last three games.

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  • Form guide

The Rams have not won away from home since mid-February against bottom club Wycombe Wanderers, while they stand as the Championship's lowest scorers this season with just 31 goals to their name from 42 games.

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Derby still have to play fellow strugglers Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as promotion chasers Swansea City, but a trip to a Preston side with nothing to play for has to be seen as a big opportunity for three points.

The Lilywhites won this season's reverse fixture on Boxing Day, as Alan Browne scored a stunning 96th-minute winner; it was their first league victory over Derby since 2008.

Preston have only won five times in 21 outings since that game, with Alex Neil losing his job in March as a result of their poor form.

Frankie McAvoy has taken temporary charge and earned five points from four games; an unspectacular 0-0 draw against Stoke on Saturday was a solid defensive response to conceding five against Brentford the previous weekend.

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The Lancashire side are almost mathematically safe from relegation, sitting 17th and 10 points clear of the drop, but they will be keen to simply get this campaign finished as quickly as possible.

Preston have only won one of their last 10 games at Deepdale and only Rotherham have picked up fewer points at home this season, while 16 goals from 21 matches is the third-lowest home return in the division.

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

Derby County Championship form: D L W L L L

  • Predicted lineups

Preston North End (3-4-1-2): 

Iversen (GK); van den Berg, Storey, Hughes; Cunningham, Ledson, Whiteman, Barkhuizen; Browne; Jakobsen, Evans.

Derby County (4-2-3-1):

Marshall (GK);  Forsyth, Clarke, Wisdom, Bryne; Shinnie, Bird; Jozwiak, Lawrence, Roberts; Sibley.

  • Previous meetings

This will be the 122nd meeting between the sides. Derby have a slightly better record with 51 wins.

Preston have been victorious on 47 occasions in the past, while 23 previous matches ended in stalemates.

Their most recent meeting came on Boxing Day 2020 when a last-minute goal by Alan Browne gave Preston a 1-0 away win.

  • Manager's comments

Frankie McAvoy

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Preston North End’s interim head coach Frankie McAvoy says that the players should play free of pressure when they take on Derby County on Tuesday night.

Speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of the visit of Wayne Rooney’s Rams he says that his side should take the positive’s from the draw at Stoke and look to turning that into three points under the floodlights at Deepdale.

He said: “What you don’t want to do is put people under undue pressure. They need to be in a good environment where we are going to get the best out of them.

“I thought we could see in the first half on Saturday, at Stoke, that once we lost the press a little bit, a wee bit of panic set in, having come off a heavy defeat.

“But, credit to them, once we managed to sort it and fix it, and get that belief back into them, I thought we were unfortunate not to take the full three points.

“A point was positive and what we need to try and do, is to be a wee bit more clinical up top, when we get the opportunities and chances. We have started to create chances – they may not be clear cut, but we are getting there and that is the big difference, because if you are scoring goals, you have a better chance of winning the game and that’s what we need to try and do.”

Wayne Rooney

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Wayne Rooney has made it clear that Derby County’s players need to ‘stand up and show their character’ when they head to Preston North End on Tuesday evening.

“It is a game we have to win, it’s as simple as that,” Rooney told RamsTV. “I have made it clear to the players that I am not interested in the performance as in the last few games we have performed well, but we haven’t got the results.

“I am not interested at all in the performance, it is all about the result. Of course, in order to get the result, you have to play well to a certain extent, but the players need to stand up and show their character to go and get three points.

“The one thing we can’t afford to give away is easy goals. I think the last few games we have given away sloppy goals and that is what has cost us, it is not the performance. Individual mistakes have cost us."

Rooney added: “We need to make sure our concentration is spot on and we have to go and win the game. We have to take it to Preston, which we are looking to do, and hopefully we can get three points.

“All we can do is focus on ourselves, focus on our next match and try to get the win.”

  • How to watch 

Kick off: 19.00 BST, Tuesday April 20.

The game will be available for Derby fans to watch live worldwide on RamsTV or through the Official Derby County App. Preston fans can watch via iFollow PNE with passes available to purchase from both club websites.