Match preview: PNE v Blackburn Rovers

By Jack Wynne – Sports Editor

Saturday will see another Lancashire derby unfold at Deepdale as PNE take on Rovers for the first time in 14 years.

The last encounter between these two sides ended in a slender 1-0 victory to Blackburn, guaranteeing their automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Another Lancashire rival, Bolton, shattered North End’s chances of joining Rovers in England’s top flight that year as Wanderers scored three goals without reply in the play-off final.

Nowadays, all three teams ply their trade in the Championship after PNE famously secured promotion from League One, via the play-offs at the 10th time of asking. 

Bolton travelled to Deepdale last month and played out a goalless draw, in what proved to be a rather unimpressive showing between the two teams.

Whilst the hosts have kept six consecutive clean sheets, they have only managed one victory in their last ten matches and currently sit in 18th place.

That solitary win against Nottingham Forest was the first time a forward has scored in the league this season, Eoin Doyle’s strike proving the difference on the night.

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson will be hoping another striker, Joe Garner, can recapture the form which saw him finish as League One’s top goal scorer last season.

How Grayson would love the 26-year-old to break his duck against Blackburn this weekend.

The visitors have won just once away from home in their last ten matches, but new manager Paul Lambert will be hoping he can end that run.

Lambert has taken charge of a side which sit just one place higher than North End in the league, level on points but with a superior goal difference.

The former Aston Villa and Norwich boss can’t wait to get started and thinks striker Jordan Rhodes will be Blackburn’s figurehead like Christian Benteke and Grant Holt were at Aston Villa and Norwich respectively.

If you can’t be at Deepdale this weekend, follow @SportPluto for extensive match coverage.


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