Preston weren’t in action on Saturday, instead having to wait until Monday to take on West Bromwich Albion – and that may be a blessing.

North End need all the extra time needed to get players back fit. For Wednesday’s trip to Hull, North End were forced to play a midfielder – Ryan Ledson – at right back for the first time, with Darnell Fisher and Alan Browne unavailable.

Joe Rafferty is a right back by trade, but is playing on the left with Andrew Hughes out. Add in that Ben Davies was ruled out too, and it’s no great surprise that Preston struggled defensively in a 4-0 thrashing.

Fielding a similar defence against West Brom surely wouldn’t end well, with Slaven Bilic’s men scoring for fun. Hopefully those extra couple of days give Alex Neil a welcome boost on the injury front, but we may yet see Jack Armer involved.

As pictured above, Armer wasn’t in the Lancaster City side on Saturday afternoon. The North End talent, currently on loan at the Giant Axe, missed the game against FC United of Manchester, with no injury reported anywhere.

Given that Armer is a left back, many will now wonder whether a return to Deepdale is on the cards. His loan spell was set to end in January, so maybe North End have taken the chance to bring him back early and try to help this injury crisis.

Armer, 18, is a Scotland Under-17 international, so does have some decent pedigree. Neil threw fellow left back Josh Earl into the Preston side in 2017 after a loan spell at Lancaster, so could he do the same again?

His omission from the Lancaster side just as Preston suffer a major injury crisis is certainly interesting, and may hint at an early return. It would be some gamble to throw him straight into a game against the arguably best side in the division, but Preston are in a needs must situation.

Armer’s situation is one to keep an eye on in the next 24 hours, as we could just see him on the bench against West Brom.

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