The Rams have won just once in their last seven league games and remain eight points off safety, having played a game more. Preston, meanwhile, are coming off a resounding 4-0 loss to Luton Town, which ended their four-game unbeaten run.
They came away with a 1-0 victory over Derby in their last away game against them in December 2020. Preston will now aim for a second in a row for the first time since a run of three between 1890 and 1892.
Derby County vs Preston North End Head-To-Head
There have been 123 clashes between the two teams, with Preston winning 52 times and losing to Derby on 47 occasions. However, in the October reverse, the two teams played out a goalless draw in Preston.
Derby County Form Guide (all competitions): D-L-L-W-L.
Preston North End Form Guide (all competitions): L-D-W-D-D.
Derby County vs Preston North End Team News
Wayne Rooney faces a big dilemma in attack.
Ravel Morrison, who's still away on international duty, will fly all the way from Jamaica and link up with the squad on Friday. If he's not fit to start, the head coach will have to recall Luke Plange into the starting XI.
That could also see Louie Sibley in the No.10 role, but another option is Festy Ebosele on the left and captain Tom Lawrence playing off the striker.
Doubtful: Ravel Morrison.
Preston North End
Declan Rudd announced his retirement due to injury, but Daniel Iversen's place in goal should be secure. Matthew Olosunde has been out with a groin injury since December.
Injured: Matthew Olosunde.
Derby County vs Preston North End Predicted XIs
Derby County (4-2-3-1): Ryan Allsop; Nathan Byrne, Curtis Davies, Eiran Cashin, Lee Buchanan; Max Bird, Krystian Bielik; Malcolm Ebiowei, Louie Sibley, Tom Lawrence; Luke Plange.
Preston North End (3-5-2): Daniel Iversen; Andrew Hughes, Bambo Diaby, Sepp van den Berg; Brad Potts, Daniel Johnson, Ben Whiteman, Alan Browne, Ali McCann; Cameron Archer, Emil Riis Jakobsen.
Derby County vs Preston North End Prediction
Neither side are in perfect shape right now but Derby are still in a much poorer condition than Preston.
The Lilywhites have struggled to score goals, like Derby themselves, but should be able to come away with a narrow win against the bottom team.
Prediction: Derby County 0-1 Preston North End.