Preston manager Darren Ferguson could ring the changes for his side`s home clash with Sheffield United.

North End were well below par in Saturday`s 2-0 defeat at Swansea and Ferguson admitted his players are lacking confidence.

The former Peterborough boss made three changes at the Liberty Stadium with defender Neill Collins and winger Ross Wallace being dropped to the bench and midfielder Richard Chaplow missing out because of a groin injury.

Midfielder Paul Coutts was handed his debut after his move from Peterborough, and winger Keith Treacy made his first start since joining Preston from Blackburn.

Chaplow and defender Callum Davidson (concussion) will be assessed but winger Paul Parry (knee) midfielder Barry Nicholson (broken leg) remain sidelined.

Matthew James could make his debut, after agreeing to join on loan from Manchester United.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Mark Bunn is the latest to fall under the Bramall Lane injury curse this season and is expected to miss the tie.

Bunn sustained an injury to his thigh and a possible broken finger in the weekend draw with Derby and was replaced by Ian Bennett, who is on stand-by.

Skipper Chris Morgan is still sidelined after tearing a rib muscle in last week's defeat at Watford and Marcel Seip (hamstring) is not ready to return.

But manager Kevin Blackwell can call on defender Andy Taylor, who has been out with a hamstring strain.

James Harper (ankle) and Gary Naysmith (knee) are still out, so Blackwell will have to deploy some players out of position again.

Regulars midfielders Jordan Stewart and Nick Montgomery were both forced to start as full-backs against Derby.

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Topics:
Peterborough United
Paul Coutts
Jordan Stewart
Ross Wallace
Watford
Football
Keith Treacy
Barry Nicholson
Blackburn Rovers
Championship
Darren Ferguson
Paul Parry
Marcel Seip
Preston North End
Derby County
Manchester United
Neill Collins
Andy Taylor
James Harper
Sheffield United
Nick Montgomery
Richard Chaplow
Paul Coutts
Matthew James
Ian Bennett
James Harper
Gary Naysmith
Mark Bunn
Callum Davidson
Chris Morgan
Swansea City
Andy Taylor