Blackburn Rovers host Preston North End in a Lancashire derby at Ewood Park as the Championship returns from the mid-season break.
Victory would see Blackburn climb to second for at least a few hours, whilst Preston can go fourth in the table with a win ahead of the 3pm GMT kick-offs.
Harry Pickering is ruled out for Blackburn after he missed their friendly win over Ajax last weekend through illness.
Jack Vale (calf) is absent until New Year but Sam Barnes (knee) and Jake Batty (ankle) are both ruled out indefinitely.
Preston could welcome Ben Whiteman back from a thigh injury which kept him out of their last two matches before the mid-season break.
Troy Parrott (hamstring) remains absent but Patrick Bauer (appendix) is expected to be available.
- Blackburn have lost just one of their last five meetings against Preston (W3, D1, L1).
- Preston have won three of their last six visits to Ewood Park (W3, D2, L1).
- Blackburn are looking to win three consecutive matches against Preston for first time since a three-match victorious run between January 2001 – November 2015.
- Ben Brereton Diaz has scored five goals in four of his last five home appearances for Blackburn.
- Ched Evans has scored three goals in his last two appearances for Preston.
Having suffered a heavy defeat at Burnley in their last competitive outing, Blackburn certainly seem to have quickly regrouped with two clinical friendly wins which is probably the best reset possible heading into the second half of this season.
Preston meanwhile were simply outplayed by Millwall in their last league match with defensive mistakes having proven their undoing, so I do expect them to come out fully recharged after their mid-season break ready to try and atone for that performance.
Both teams though will be desperate for the win to boost their promotion ambitions so I am expecting a tough battle, where a draw might actually be a fair result in their first game back in action.
Prediction: Blackburn 1-1 Preston
Result: Blackburn 1-4 Preston