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At half time against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, Luton were 45 minutes away from reaching the 60-point mark and being within touching distance of catching third-placed Huddersfield Town.
However, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat against a direct rival has left the Hatters in seventh spot, now needing a victory to remain as a major force in the race for the playoffs.
While Nathan Jones will have few qualms about Luton remaining as underdogs to gain promotion to the Premier League, the Welshman will recognise that a potentially-crucial opportunity was thrown away at the weekend.
Two more matches against Preston and Luton in quick succession is also not ideal on the back of a punishing schedule, but Luton have not suffered successive league defeats since November.
Before losing out to QPR, Luton had gone seven matches at Kenilworth Road without suffering defeat, something Jones will hope is not forgotten ahead of a difficult fixture.
There could be difference between a playoff place and a respectable top-half finish, although Lowe will be satisfied with the foundations having already been laid ahead of a more sustained push next season.
Overall, the stalemate at Cardiff City on Saturday was their third draw in four outings, but North End are now unbeaten in their last six fixtures away from Deepdale.
With Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu likely sidelined for Luton after an early injury against QPR, either Henri Lansbury or Luke Berry will be recalled in midfield.
Harry Cornick should also return to replace one of Elijah Adebayo or Cameron Jerome, but Robert Snodgrass is expected to remain on the substitutes’ bench.
On the back of the stalemate in South Wales, Lowe is unlikely to make major alterations to his Preston starting lineup.
Although Andrew Hughes could drop back into the back three, Patrick Bauer is available again and could make an appearance in the first XI.
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Emil Riis Jakobsen and Cameron Archer should retain their spots in attack despite drawing a blank versus the Bluebirds.
Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Shea; Burke, Lockyer, Naismith; Bree, Lansbury, Campbell, Bell; Clark; Jerome, Cornick
Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Van den Berg, Diaby, Bauer; Potts, Browne, Whiteman, Hughes; Johnson; Riis Jakobsen, Archer