Sheffield Wednesday have named a strong U23 side to face Leeds United this afternoon, with Sam Winnall and Joost van Aken both involved from the start, Sheffield Star journalist, Dom Howson, has revealed.
24-year-old van Aken has featured just twice this season through injury, coming off after 63 minutes of the EFL Cup tie away at Sunderland. He’s now looking to a first team return with a start in this afternoon’s encounter.
— Dom Howson (@domhowson) February 12, 2019
Sam Winnall has been struggling for a while, he picked up an injury in February 2018 whilst on loan with Derby, returning to the first team fold for four matches at the start of the year. He picked up a second, less serious injury on January 12th against Hull and is looking to a second comeback after today’s game.
There’s also a run out for Daniel Pudil, another of Steve Bruce’s recent absentees. He’s been out of the side since December 15th, but has started just nine Championship matches in an erratic season for the Owls.
Ash Baker is also involved this afternoon, he’s started 11 matches in the league and picked up five bookings. He’s also been out of the side since December 15th, a week before the dismissal of Jos Luhukay.
It’s usually Leeds United naming the strong side, but with Joe Wildsmith in goal as well there’s a senior feel to this so-called U23 squad. Two of the players are clearly on their way back, van Aken and Winnall, but Pudil and Baker have points to prove after being dropped recently.
It’s a transitional period for the Owls and U23 football gives the new manager, Steve Bruce, a chance to assess both fitness and attitude of some of his senior players.
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