Preston vs Doncaster preview
Last Updated: 06/01/19 8:49am
Preston will be without their new signings but hope to have a host of players back from injury for the Emirates FA Cup third round tie against Doncaster on Sunday.
Josh Ginnelly, Jayden Stockley and Brad Potts all completed permanent deals at the start of the transfer window but are cup tied while Ben Pearson will serve the final game of his four-match ban. However, Alan Browne, Sean Maguire, Brandon Barker and Josh Earl are all close to returning to action after spells in the treatment room.
Manager Alex Neil will also check on the fitness of goalkeeper Chris Maxwell but among those definitely still out are Ben Davies, Louis Moult, Callum Robinson, Billy Bodin and Josh Harrop.
Doncaster manager Grant McCann, whose side regained a spot in the League One play-offs with a 5-0 victory over Rochdale on New Year's Day, could give a debut to new signing Kieran Sadlier. The former Cork City winger committed to Rovers in December but has been waiting for international clearance. If that comes in time, Sadlier could go up against his friend Maguire, if his fellow Irishman is fit to return.
Aaron Lewis also completed a loan move from Swansea City before Friday's noon deadline for registrations and he, too, could be involved in the squad that heads across the Pennines. Defender Shaun Cummings is expected to remain sidelined after sustaining a groin injury in the Boxing Day defeat at Fleetwood while two other defenders, Niall Mason (broken toe) and Joe Wright (ankle), are closing in on their returns but may not be ready for Sunday.
This will be the first FA Cup meeting between Preston and Doncaster since November 1997, when Preston ran out 3-2 winners at Deepdale.
Doncaster have only lost one of their last eight meetings with Preston in all competitions (W2 D5).
Preston have won three and lost two of their last five FA Cup third round ties against sides from a lower division, but did win their last such match at home (7-0 v Colchester in 2009-10).
Doncaster Rovers have not reached round four of the FA Cup since 2009-10.