Blackburn Rovers host Preston North End this evening in the Sky Bet Championship as the second-tier action kicks off with a Lancashire derby.
Both sides possess quality but both need to get on a run of good form to really make a fist of getting into the top six this season.
Rovers, of course, were only three points off of sixth before last weekend’s matches but their loss to QPR and Bournemouth’s win over Birmingham has widened that gap.
North End, meanwhile, have struggled for consistency all season and have lost a sizeable 14 games so far – only a lack of draws has meant they’re relatively secure in mid-table.
Both, then, will be eyeing a good end to the campaign and Sky Sports’ EFL host David Prutton believes it could be the home side that comes away victorious:
“A big Lancashire derby live on Sky on Friday night! What a great way to start the Championship weekend.
“There is more riding on it than just bragging rights, however. Both sides are in that position where they need to go on a bit of a run if they want to make the top six this season. To that extent there is quite a lot riding on this one, it could go either way but I fancy a home win here.”
Rovers are obviously looking to bounce back from their loss at QPR whilst Preston also lost last time out at home to Rotherham United.
It’s a big game whenever these two meet but it’s perhaps carrying even more significance as it could set them on a path to make, or break, their season.
Time will soon tell tonight who’s got a big three points under their belts.