Neil Critchley names his team for the Blackpool v Preston North End derby – and drops another surprise

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As he so often does, Neil Critchley has dropped another big surprise with his team selection for today’s derby against Preston North End.


Sonny Carey, the star of Wednesday night’s 3-2 win against Reading, has been surprisingly dropped to the bench.

The midfielder, who was in inspired form on his first league start on Wednesday night, is replaced by Gary Madine, as the Seasiders revert to 4-4-2.

Madine is one of two changes, as Josh Bowler comes in for Demetri Mitchell after the winger’s impressive cameo off the bench in midweek.

Dujon Sterling returns from illness to take a spot on the bench, which sees Tyreece John-Jules drop out of the squad altogether.

Kevin Stewart remains sidelined with an ankle injury, joining Daniel Gretarsson (concussion), Reece James (foot), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles), CJ Hamilton (foot) and Shayne Lavery (hamstring).

PNE, meanwhile, name an unchanged side from their midweek win against Coventry City.

Gary Madine returns to Blackpool's starting line-up

Gary Madine returns to Blackpool’s starting line-up

But Frankie McAvoy’s side, who begin the day in 18th, three points adrift of the Seasiders, are boosted by the return of Sean Maguire to the bench.