Gregory experiments as Crawley seek winning formula

John Gregory has decided to experiment with his team selection as Crawley bid to end a run of eight league games without a win against Preston today.

Gregory has made just one change from the team which was held to a goalless draw in the FA Cup at Bristol Rovers last weekend but it is an intriguing one.

Defender James Hurst returns to the starting line-up after missing the last two games at the expense of midfielder Andy Drury.

That either means Gregory will play a 3-5-2 formation with Hurst and Mat Sadler operating as wing-backs with Kyle McFadzean, Joe Walsh and Mark Connolly as the three central defenders. It is a formation Gregory favoured when manager at Aston Villa but would leave Reds fielding a rather lightweight midfield trio of Nicky Adams, Dannie Bulman and Biilly Clarke.

The other scenario could see Connolly or McFadzean push forward into midfield in a standard 4-4-2 formation.

Captain Josh Simpson remains sidelined by a hamstring injury so Bulman continues to wear the armband. Mike Jones has recovered sufficiently from a groin problem to be on the bench along with young pro Alex Malins.

Preston - who also line up in a 3-5-2 formation - make one change from the team which won 1-0 at Wycombe in the FA Cup last weekend. Bailey Wright returns from suspension in place of David Buchanan in defence.

Crawley (3-5-2): P Jones; Walsh, McFadzean, Connolly; Hurst, Adams, Bulman, Clarke, Sadler; Alexander, Sinclair. Subs: Maddison, Torres, M Jones, Drury, Smith, Proctor, Malins.

Preston (3-5-2): Rudd; Clarke, Huntington, Wright; Humphrey, Keane, Welsh, Brownhill, Laird; Davies, Beavon. Subs: Stuckmann, Buchanan, Hume, Hayhurst, Holmes, Byrom, Kilkenny.

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