Sheffield Wednesday will get the chance to swiftly recover from their narrow defeat at Watford on Good Friday when they host play-off chasing Cardiff City tomorrow.
The Owls would have been aiming to build on their vital 2-1 win at Barnsley ahead of the international break, but Watford represented a very tough fixture for them. Darren Moore’s side were competitive within the game, but ultimately came out on the wrong end of the result thanks to Tom Lees’ own goal.
That defeat plus Birmingham City’s win against Swansea City means that the Owls are pretty much facing must-win territory now against Cardiff. Doing that will not be an easy task against Mick McCarthy’s side, who are also venturing into a must-win kind of moment in their campaign after they suffered a major setback against Nottingham Forest.
Moore’s side will not be helped in their quest to get back to winning ways against Cardiff by the latest potential injury blow that they have suffered. Lees, who had earlier scored the own goal that cost the Owls the game at Watford, was forced off the field in the 85th minute. Stand-in manager Jamie Smith revealed he had a calf issue that will now be assessed to see if he can feature.
Keiren Westwood was reportedly close to being able to come into contention for the trip to Watford on Good Friday. That came with him having missed out on the win at Barnsley with a rib injury with Joe Wildsmith filling in for him. However, Smith confirmed after the defeat against the Hornets that the keeper is still suffering with the injury and no timescale has been placed on his potential return.
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It was also revealed by Moore ahead of the Watford game that both Joost van Aken and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru were also nearing returns to action for the Owls. However, again neither of those players were able to feature in the squad for the defeat at Watford.
Sam Hutchinson was able to make his return to action as anticipated during the defeat at Watford, after he had missed out on the win at Barnsley through a muscle issue he picked up during the 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield Town. He managed to get through the Watford game playing in the heart of midfield as Barry Bannan was pushed further forwards.
With Lees potentially an injury doubt, Moore might have to contemplate some slight changes to the side that started the game against Watford as the Owls look to find the right sort of set up to help get them a much-needed three points.
Predicted Sheffield Wednesday XI: Wildsmith; Urhoghide, Hutchinson, Borner; Palmer, Pelupessy, Bannan, Reach; Paterson, Windass; Rhodes