27 touches, zero interceptions: What was wrong with Wednesday's Kieran Lee vs Preston?

Sheffield Wednesday were defeated 1-0 at Preston North End.

Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Kieran Lee was one of a few who disappointed on Saturday as his side crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Championship opponents Preston North End.

The Owls entered the match at Deepdale in sparkling form, winning five of their previous seven league matches to move them within five points of Middlesbrough and the top two.

Preston have been in good form too, but many predicted that Carlos Carvalhal’s men would have too much attacking threat for the Lillywhites and pick up another three points.

How they were mistaken. The hosts were solid throughout, whereas a number of Wednesday players failed to replicate their recent good form with Kieran Lee in particular rather disappointing.

  Won TackleInterception WonEffective ClearancesBall RecoveriesTouchesAccurate PassesKey PassesMins Played
Kieran Lee 2 0 0 1 27 17 0 77

As shown by the table provided by Opta, the holding midfielder was extremely quiet throughout as he failed to dominate possession and didn’t apply enough pressure off the ball.

The 27-year-old posted only 27 touches and two tackles of note before he was substituted for Lewis McGugan late on as Wednesday seeked an unlikely equaliser after going down to 10 men.

Lee has largely been one of the Yorkshire club’s most consistent performers this season, standing in for Sam Hutchinson through the middle and allowing Barry Bannan to be the more creative.

But against Preston he was evidently off form, and his poor showing prompted the visitors to ultimately lose the midfield battle and struggle to feed the likes of Fernando Forestieri in the final third.

The defeat leaves Carlos Carvalhal’s side in sixth spot due to Derby County’s 3-1 win at Brentford, with Cardiff City four points adrift in seventh after they defeated Brighton 4-1 in South Wales.

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