After back to back frustrating draws at the Hawthorns for West Bromwich Albion, the Baggies are back on their travels and will be looking to continue their unbeaten run at Deepdale.
West Brom relinquished top spot to Fulham when they were held by Derby County in midweek and Valerien Ismael will be determined to get back to winning ways when they face 14th placed Preston North End.
Fulham have looked every bit a side who could run away with it in the second tier this season, so it is important for the Baggies’ promotion aspirations that they can compete for two spots at the top of the division rather than just one. North End represent a side finding their feet this season after a tough start, a game where a draw will be seen as a disappointing result.
Here, then, we have taken a look at two tactical tweaks Ismael could make in attempting to get back to winning ways…
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Jayson Molumby in
When West Brom earned promotion in 2019/20 under Slaven Bilic they had Matheus Pereira to bail them out time after time and could afford to play a little more defensively with the individual talent in attacking areas. They still have some quality names and Grady Diangana is still there, but the goals from midfield need to keep coming as scoring from a set piece every game is not a reliable formula.
Alex Mowatt has made an excellent start to life at the club but Jake Livermore represents a less mobile figure than exciting Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Jayson Molumby. The Irishman does not provide the protection to the back four as much but with the control West Brom have been able to take in their disappointing draws, that should not be too much of a concern at Deepdale. Molumby would add to the creative contingent.
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Jordan Hugill in
Callum Robinson has never scored more than 12 league goals in a Championship season, pinning your hopes on him to carry the goalscoring burden and earn automatic promotion is unwise. Hugill was involved in Norwich City’s title winning season just last term and will be hoping to use that experience for the Baggies this season.
Both players are former North End fans’ favourites which could spur them on, Hugill could also come in for Diangana or Karlan Grant to add some variety to the attacking contingent.