Alex Neil says his players will need to keep an eye on Bradley Dack, having highlighted the threat of Rovers’ top scorer.

Preston midfielder Ben Pearson was tasked with a man-marking job on Dack in the reverse fixture in November, but suspension will rule the North End man out.

Neil believes Dack, who has 14 goals in all competitions this season, can pop up at any time. And it’s for that reason, he believes the 25-year-old must be watched closely.

“Bradley Dack has done great, to get the number of goals he has got. He is more of a second striker for me than a No.10,” he said.

“He is dangerous in and around the box, has a low centre of gravity, is a good finisher and is always a threat.

“He is the type of player you might now see for 80 minutes, but he can pop up and score a goal out of the blue and those type of players are always dangerous.”

Neil, whose side start the day five places and four points above Rovers, told Preston’s website: “They have got good players, Blackburn.

“They spent some money in the summer making some acquisitions.

“They came into the season fancying their chances to have a really strong season and I think they come up and consolidated – which you always want to do in the first season – and they will want to turn their recent form around and I think they will be quite comfortable.”

Preston have a good recent record against Rovers, unbeaten in their last four meetings, and are chasing a fifth consecutive away win today.

“Like most games in the Championship, we are going to have to perform very well,” Neil said.

“If we don’t perform very well, it is going to be a very difficult afternoon and I am sure they are saying the same thing.

“When you get a game like this, when you say ‘it is going to be a tough match’, everybody enjoys it, especially when you add in the fact it is a local derby, it should be exciting.”