'Baffled' - The Preston North End verdict as Ryan Lowe names interesting team vs Watford

Greg CunninghamGreg Cunningham
Greg Cunningham | CameraSport - Alex Dodd
Team news is in for Watford vs Preston North End

Preston North End supporters were somewhat surprised by Ryan Lowe’s team selection away to Watford this afternoon.

The Lilywhites are in action at Vicarage Road for 2023/24’s Gentry Day. And Lowe has made three changes for the game, with Greg Cunningham, Jordan Storey and Milutin Osmajic brought in for Noah Mawene, Duane Holmes and Mads Frokjaer - who all drop to the bench. Alan Browne remains out through illness, while Liam Millar is also not involved.

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As expected, Ben Whiteman, Brad Potts, Ryan Ledson and Ched Evans are all absent. It looks like centre-back, Jack Whatmough, is going to partner Ali McCann in central midfield - with a back three of Storey, Liam Lindsay and Greg Cunningham. Robbie Brady and Andrew Hughes will operate as wing-backs, with a front three of Osmajic, Emil Riis and Will Keane.

Reacting on X (formerly Twitter), @tomp_5 said: ‘Hope I’m wrong, but that looks like a team playing for a draw.’ @Ash_GW posted: ‘Honestly baffled by that starting eleven, what is going on?’ while @BeccaGornall said: ‘Is this a joke?’ @dougie_fresh weighed in with: ‘Baffled. I’m thinking Greg will be in centre mid. Brady and hughes at wingback? If we get any type of result here it will be the best points of the season.’

@gbriscoe94 said: ‘Lowe going full on José’ and @TomHarrisonLaw posted: ‘Horrendous.’ @kylefleminggg commented: ‘That’s got to be the most confusing and horrendous team we’ve put out all season. Every faith he knows what he’s doing though.’ and @mitchw05 said: ‘April fools was the other day admin wheres the real lineup.’ @HParkz10 wasn’t too impressed, posting: ‘Is this some sort of joke why is Mads on the bench?’ @louise_pne said: ‘The more I look at this the more confused I am! Hardly any midfielders on the pitch yet we have several on the bench…make it make sense!?

@SamThomas26 posted: ‘If Ryan Lowe manages to pull off a win with that setup then ask him where and how big he wants his statue.’ and @olihargreavess said: ‘Benching Mads is absolutely wild, especially with no Millar in the squad. 0 creativity.’ @Supermaduka commented: ‘I am baffled by this team. Cannot work out how we set up? while @PneMarc said: ‘What is going on here? 3 strikers? Whatmough in midfield?’

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PNE starting XI: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham, Brady, Whatmough, McCann, Hughes, Keane, Riis, Osmajic. PNE subs: Cornell, Seary, Best, T Mawene, N Mawene, Holmes, Frokjaer, Woodburn, Stewart.

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