the first time in his reign at Deepdale, Preston boss Ryan Lowe is coming under pressure, a consequence of his team not building on their flying start to the season.
Rather than remaining a constant fixture in the promotion race, Preston are now 14th in the table having lost seven of their last 10 games in the Championship.
The 2-1 success over Leeds United on Boxing Day was a particular high, but Preston have since played three games in all competitions without scoring a goal.
Preston initially impressed in their FA Cup tie at Chelsea last weekend, pushing the Blues for the majority of the first hour before they eventually succumbed to a 4-0 defeat.
Nevertheless, Lowe spoke publicly of the positives that he will take from that fixture and hopes that will be transferred into what could be a pivotal match in their season.
Meanwhile, Bristol City have continued their inconsistent ways under Liam Manning, with a four-match winless streak being followed by 10 points coming from the same amount of league fixtures.
While a 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall subsequently followed, the Robins bounced back with a 1-1 draw at West Ham United in the FA Cup third round.
Tommy Conway’s second-half equaliser earned Bristol City a share of the spoils at the London Stadium, setting up a replay at Ashton Gate next week.
Barring any fitness issues, Lowe may feel obliged to select the same Preston XI from the Chelsea fixture.Robbie Brady is the only injury absentee, while Emil Riis Jakobsen will be provided with more time to build his fitness from the substitutes’ bench after recovering
from a serious knee injury.There is also the possibility of Manning selecting an unchanged Bristol City team after they impressed versus West Ham.Matty James and Andreas Weimann will likely have to make do with spots among the replacements, with none of the five-strong injury list in line to make a return.