Graham Westley has no new injury problems as Preston prepare to welcome Sheffield United.
United are unbeaten in League One this season but lie only four points ahead of North End after conceding an equaliser deep into stoppage time against Oldham last weekend.
The Lilywhites also took a point from their last encounter, the goalless televised draw with MK Dons, and Westley – whose squad came through that 90 minutes unscathed – is relishing the challenge of adding another big-name scalp to an impressive list at Deepdale this season.
“It’s mouth-watering from our point of view,” he told the club’s official website. “This season it has been a tough place for teams to come through.
“Championship sides like Huddersfield and Palace have pitched up and got beaten and if you look at their form in the Championship, you don’t get sides like that getting dominated for no reason. They got dominated because our players took them to task, used our pitch well, used our environment well and the fans were brilliant in supporting the team.”
Striker Lee Trundle remains on the sidelines with the knee injury he sustained at Morecambe in pre-season alongside fellow long-term absentee Lee Holmes (gashed leg).
Sheffield United strikers Shaun Miller and Chris Porter may have played themselves into contention.
Summer signing Miller, yet to start a league game for the Blades, scored twice in the 4-1 midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Notts County alongside Porter, who was equally as impressive.
Manager Danny Wilson made five changes in midweek, with Miller, Porter, defender Darryl Westlake, plus midfield pair Matty Harriott and Jordan Chapell all starting.
But first-choice players Tony McMahon, Dave Kitson, John Cofie, Nick Blackman and Neil McDonald will all be expecting to return to the starting line-up.
Centre-half Neill Collins is also back in contention to face his former club following a toe infection, while another defender, Lecsinel Jean-Francois, played for 15 minutes at Notts County in his first appearance of the season and could be included in the squad after a long-term knee injury.