Preston North End take on Swansea City in the Championship tonight and Ryan Lowe faces a real dilemma over his system.

PNE claimed a much-needed home win over Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon.

Jordan Storey’s late header secured all three points against Boro, lifting at least some of the clouds after losing 4-2 to Blackpool.

North End must now push for another home win when form at Deepdale has been patchy this season.


Birmingham City, Sheffield United and Stoke City have all won at North End’s home this term.

Lowe switched to a 4-3-3 for Saturday’s game, utilising Robbie Brady and Ben Woodburn to support Emil Riis in the final third.

This was a rarity for Lowe, who usually sticks to 3-5-2 or 3-4-2-1.

Claiming a win with the 4-3-3 is a pretty strong argument to keep it heading into tonight’s game against the Swans.

However, Lowe will consider the opponent and Swansea have a very clear way of playing.

In each of their last nine Championship games, Swansea have lined up in a 3-4-2-1 system under Russell Martin.

Charlton Athletic  v Swansea City - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

This usually sees Michael Obafemi work up front with any of Oliver Cooper, Olivier Ntcham, Joel Piroe or Luke Cundle behind him.

There may therefore be a real temptation for Lowe to go back to the 3-4-2-1 in order to combat Swansea tonight.

Andrew Hughes is back in action and that should allow him to slot back into a back three alongside Jordan Storey and Liam Lindsay.

Brad Potts and Alvaro Fernandez can then play as wing backs with Ben Whiteman and Ali McCann in midfield.

Lowe could then go with two from Ben Woodburn, Robbie Brady, Alan Browne or Daniel Johnson to support Emil Riis up top.

Lowe has a tough decision to make tonight; go with what worked last time or switch to match up the opponents?

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Olly Dawes
Olly Dawes

Olly is an experienced football journalist. He spends his time tweeting about football, NFL, video games, FPL, and wrestling.

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