By Jonny Whitfield
Bolton Wanderers midfielder Sammy Ameobi will be looking to add to his recent goal tally when the club face local rivals Preston North End at Deepdale on Friday.
Former Newcastle United man Ameobi has scored three goals in his last five games for the Trotters, while striker Gary Madine has netted twice in the same period.
Madine is available for selection for Friday’s game following his arrest during the international break for an alleged pub brawl.
Full-back Andrew Taylor, defensive partner David Wheater and midfielder Will Buckley are all in contention to play, but strikers Aaron Wilbraham and Adam le Fondre are still nursing hip and calf injuries respectively.
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Hosts Preston North End are also suffering a striker shortage of their own. Sean Maguire recently underwent surgery on a torn hamstring, while Jordan Hugill picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Ipswich and will miss this weekend’s clash.
These sides last met in 2015, when a goalless draw marked a bland Halloween tie between the north-west clubs.
Preston midfielder Paul Gallagher told the club’s website: “Bolton have started picking up with some good results but we need to stick together and try and get a win on Friday.
“Every derby we’ve played in we’ve done well in since I’ve been [at Preston] and we’ve had some good days. We know it’s going to be difficult but we are all looking forward to it.”
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson spoke to the club’s YouTube channel about the fixture. He said: “There are not many derbies for us this year and Preston, similar to Bolton, are a club with great tradition and history.
“It’s going to be a cracking atmosphere and it’s a game that we’re really looking forward to.”
Factfile: Both sides last earned a point in the league on the same day – October 14. Since then, they have had polar fortunes. Bolton picked up their first win of the season on that afternoon and have since picked up points in each of their last four games, despite being denied victories late on by Fulham and Sunderland. Mid-October was the last time Preston picked up a point – against the Cottagers. Their previous four games have all ended in defeat, including successive games without scoring a goal.