League One Preview: North End and Dons eye top spot
Third-placed Dons are on a nine-match unbeaten run in the league and are the division's top scorers with 39.
Karl Robinson's side have been lauded this campaign for their attractive football, but the 1-0 win at fellow promotion contenders Sheffield United last week prompted the manager to declare that they can also "dig deep".
This will be tested at Deepdale, where Simon Grayson's North End, who are fourth but level on 37 points with Saturday's opponents, have only lost once this season - a 2-1 defeat to Bradford City in mid-November.
A win for either side could send them top, if leaders Bristol City lose to Crawley Town at Ashton Gate and Swindon Town suffer defeat at Notts County.
Steve Cotterill's Bristol City bounced back from two straight defeats – their only two of the league season – with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Peterborough United last time out.
Cotterill's men will be confident they can follow that up with a win over 17th-placed Crawley, who are unbeaten in six league matches, but have drawn the last five.
Swindon's task at Meadow Lane is a tougher one.
Notts County are seventh in the table and, although they have lost two of the last four games, they remain a dangerous foe, as illustrated by a run of six straight wins in all competitions in September and October.
Fabio Liverani will take charge of his first game as Leyton Orient boss following his appointment this week, with out-of-form Peterborough the opponents at Brisbane Road.
The 38-year-old former Italy international will be hoping to improve on 19th-placed Orient's recent form, which has seen them win just twice in 11 league matches.
Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic face Fleetwood Town and Yeovil Town respectively, while bottom club Crewe Alexandra travel to Scunthorpe United, who are 21st, in a significant relegation battle.
Elsewhere, Chesterfield host Bradford, Rochdale travel to Colchester United, Doncaster Rovers face Gillingham, Port Vale take on Coventry City and Barnsley are up against Walsall.